Rounding Numbers: Adjusting for Ease

Do you notice your students struggling to understand rounding numbers?

While rounding numbers can be tricky when your students first learn it, it’s important that they get the hang of it sooner rather than later. It’s not only a valuable skill they’ll need for their futures, but it also risks their academic futures if they don’t understand it when it’s taught.

To make sure your students can keep up in their future grades, read below for some tips for teaching this tricky maths concept.

What Is Rounding Off?

Explain to your students that rounding off is simplifying numbers to make them easier to work with.

Numbers can either be rounded up or rounded down, and this is decided by how close the number is to whatever place value you’re rounding it off to.

Where Do You Start?

Start with the basics. First, teach your students what round numbers are and how they work. Then teach them what rounding digits are.

Rules of Rounding Numbers

There are two basic rules your students should understand about round numbers.

If the rounding digit is 1, 2, 3, or 4, then they should round the numbers down. If the rounding digit is 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9, then they should round the numbers up.

Rounding Digits

Once your students understand what round numbers are, you can teach them about rounding digits and which place value columns to work with. To do this, they need to have a good grasp of place values.

If you need to do more work with place values first, download a place value chart here.

The rounding digit is the one your students will look at to determine if they’re going to round numbers up or round numbers down.

When rounding to the nearest tens, it means your rounding digit is in the units column. If you’re rounding to the nearest hundred, your rounding digit is the tens column.

Applications for Rounding Numbers

Now that your students understand these concepts, you can start practicing with application questions.

Start with making sure they can round to the nearest tens. For example, rounding 53 to the nearest ten would mean rounding down to 50. But rounding 78 to the nearest ten would mean rounding up to 80.

Once they’ve got a good foundation, next look at rounding to the nearest hundreds. Here is where you must make sure that they understand which number is the rounding digit.

For example, rounding 138 to the nearest hundred would mean rounding down to 100. Rounding 693 to the nearest hundred would make it 700. Once you’ve got this understood, move on to rounding to the nearest thousand.

Most students who struggle with rounding numbers understand the basic principles but get confused when applying them to examples. Go slowly through this section and, eventually, your students should get it.

Your Students Will Be Rounding Numbers in No Time

Using this approach, your students should get the hang of rounding numbers with ease!

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