Information on Decimal Points for Children

Could your child use a little extra help understanding decimals? If so, continue reading below to learn what your child needs to know about decimals as well as some helpful tips that you can apply to your home practice sessions.

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What Does My Child Need to Know about Decimals?

Your child was first introduced to fractions in second grade, when he or she learned about money. However, it's not until 4th grade that students should know how to compare two decimals up to the hundredths place and how to accurately use the symbols for greater than (>), less than (<) and equal to (=). Students will also be able to use the decimal notation for fractions that have a denominator of 10 or 100.

At the 5th grade level, students will be able to read, write and compare decimals up to the thousandths place and use the appropriate symbols to represent the comparison. Your child should also know how to add, subtract, multiply and divide decimals up to the hundredths place and to use what he or she knows about place value to round decimals to any place.

In 6th grade, your student will work to become more fluent when adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing multi-digit decimals. Your child will also be learning about the absolute value of a rational number. As a 7th grader, your child will learn how to convert a rational number to a decimal using long division. Your child must also know how to solve real-world problems that involve rational numbers and that require fluent use of the 4 math operations.

At the 8th grade level, it's important for your child to understand that all numbers have a decimal expansion. In addition, your 8th grader will learn how to convert a repeating decimal expansion into a rational number.

How to Help Your Child Study

Like any skill, consistent practice at home will help your child reinforce these skills. Since money is a real-world application of decimals, this may be a great focus for your practice sessions. It is also important that your child fully understands place value; without this, it will be very difficult for him or her to perform math operations that include decimals.

You will want to ensure that your student knows the decimal notations for commonly used fractions, like ¾, ½ and ¼. Depending on your child's learning style, you can practice decimals using worksheets, online learning games or drills. Keep in mind, the practice activities that you choose should be directly related to the standards for his or her grade level.

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