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# How to explain a child how to round numbers?

Ex: 54 (50 or 60)

63 (60 or 65)

Asked by Anonymous at 8:52 AM on Nov. 12, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

• When I tutored elem. math and when my kids were this age, what I did was I wrote out the numbers 1 through 9 on cards. Then I spread them out sort of like a mountain, with 1 at the low end on one side, 9 at the low end on the other, and 5 at the top - the "peak" of the mountain.

I told them that when they were rounding, imagine they were climbing this mountain. If they stopped on the 1 - 4 side, then they "slid" back down the mountain to the the lower number side. If they stopped at the top (on the 5) or on the 6-9 side, they were "over the hump" so they got to "slide down" to the next higher number.

Then, I explained that it didn't matter if it was 1-10, or if it was 80-90, or 1120 - 1130, the concept was the same. Then, once they seemed to get that concept, we would expand it to show how it worked with rounding from 1 - 100 (with 50 as the "peak"), or etc...

Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:03 AM on Nov. 12, 2009

• lol - let me try that second part again, I read your second example wrong. In the case of the first, 54 would round down to 50, because it wasn't over the "peak" of the number in the middle. In the case of the second number, 63 would round up to 65, because it's at the top of the peak between 60 and 65.

Hope that helps explain it to your child gl :-)

Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:07 AM on Nov. 12, 2009