Math Decimal Games

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    Shopping Spree

    • Students are more likely to understand decimals if they're made more practical, like by using money games. You can give students old ads from grocery stores and have them choose five foods they'd like to buy. Students should then add up the prices of the five foods to find out what their totals would be. If you'd like, you can encourage each student to come up to your desk to "check out" by pretending to pay you with one bill (e.g., 20 dollar bill, 50 dollar bill) and calculating the change that they should receive in return. They will need to use decimals to play this game, but the money component will make it seem more practical.

    Decimal War

    • This game requires the teacher to create decks of notecards beforehand. Each notecard should have a decimal on one side and be blank on the other side. Students pair off and receive a deck of cards, which they split between the two of them. They can then play a game of "war" with the cards, by turning over the top card on each of their piles simultaneously and comparing the two decimals that appear. The player who turned over the higher of the two decimals wins the round and keeps both cards. Play continues until one player has all of the cards. (For a more challenging version of the game, the player who calls out the higher value first wins the round, rather than the player who played the card with the highest value.)

    Laser Beam

    • If you have Internet access in your classroom (or if your students have Internet access at home), you can encourage them to play Laser Beam, an online interactive game that they can use to practice their decimal skills. This game presents players with a decimal problem that they must answer in order to fire a laser beam. The graphics and the exciting theme is perfect for younger students who are just learning about decimals, especially about adding and subtracting them.

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