Place Value and Equal Decimals for 4th Graders: Games and Problems

Help your child improve his or her understanding of place value and decimals using the activities below. Sample word problems containing decimal amounts are also provided for some extra practice.

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Place Value and Decimals at the 4th Grade Level

In 4th grade, your child will begin comparing decimal amounts to the hundredths place, which requires a solid understanding of place value. Converting a fraction to a decimal amount is another skill that your child will be introduced to this school year.

Use interactive games to help your child connect his or her prior knowledge of place value to the new skills related to decimals. This will allow your child to see that decimals aren't so difficult after all.

Mathematical Animals

For this activity, your child will need one bag of animal crackers. Have your child pour out the contents of the bag and group the crackers according to animal. Ask your child to represent each group of animals with a fraction. Remember, the total number of animal crackers in the bag will be the denominator for the fractions.

Depending on your child's ability level, you can also have him or her convert each fraction to a decimal amount. For example, if 12 of the 25 animal crackers were lions, the fraction to represent this group would be 12/25. To convert this fraction to a decimal, your child would need to divide the numerator by the denominator like this: 12 ÷ 25 = 0.48.

Which One Costs More?

Use the grocery store to help your child practice comparing decimal amounts. Provide your child with the list of items you need and specify that you want to purchase the cheapest available brand of each item. For example, if there are five brands of orange juice ranging from $3.09-$3.97, your child would compare the amounts and choose the one that is priced at $3.09. As an extension to this activity, have your child add all the items to determine the total amount before tax.

Decimal Word Problems

1. Gabe bought six chocolate sundaes for his friends. Each sundae cost $0.40. How much money did Gabe spend in all?

To determine the total amount Gabe spent, your child should multiply the cost of each sundae ($0.40) by the number of sundaes purchased (6). The problem should look like this: 0.40 x 6 = $2.40. Your child could also choose to add the amounts, like this: 0.40 + 0.40 + 0.40 + 0.40 + 0.40 + 0.40 = $2.40.

2. Mr. Alford's 4th grade class is selling raffle tickets to help pay for their fieldtrip. At the end of the first week, Kristy earned $2.50, John made $5.00 and Zack raised $8.75. How much did these three students raise altogether?

To solve this problem, your child should add the amount raised by each student like this: $2.50 + $5.00 + $8.75 = $16.25.

3. Mom paid $16.84 for pizza. If she gave the cashier $20.00, how much change should she get back?

To calculate the amount of change Mom should receive, your child should subtract the amount paid minus the cost of the pizza, like this: 20.00 - 16.84 = $3.16.
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