Decimal Fraction Material

A detailed guide to understanding the Decimal Fraction material and how it is used within the Upper Elementary curriculum

How does it work?

Going beyond traditional fractions, your child’s springboard into studying a new realm of numbers smaller than one starts with the Decimal Fraction Material. With this material, your child is introduced to the concept of decimals, how decimal quantities relate to fractions, how to read and write decimals, and how to add, subtract, and multiply with decimals.

The Decimal Fraction Material consists of:

  • A decimal fraction board
  • Small color-coded wooden cubes
  • Plastic number cards (1-0.000009)

Prerequisite Skills - Your child is ready to start work with the Decimal Fraction Material if they have:

  • A strong understanding of the decimal system and its hierarchies
  • Extensive familiarity with fractions, including addition and subtraction of fractions by other fractions
  • Practice with long multiplication using the Checkerboard and/or Large Bead Frame
Forming and reading quantities with the Decimal Fraction Material

Sample lesson

Start by watching this sample lesson from our Guidepost Homeschool platform that will familiarize you to the Decimal Fraction Material and its use.

If you are already subscribed to Guidepost Homeschool, scroll down to see all the corresponding lessons where the Decimal Fraction Material is used in our curriculum. To unlock more than 2,000+ lessons subscribe to Guidepost Homeschool today.

How to set up

Setup: When you’re ready to use the Decimal Fraction Material, align the left edge of the box with the centre bold black line on the board (this is the dividing line between whole numbers and decimals). You will want the six compartments of the box roughly aligned with the six categories of decimal fractions shown on the right side of the board.

Additional materials:

  • Pencil
  • Blank pieces of paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape
  • Graph paper (½" squares)
  • 1” square cut pieces of paper for writing operations symbols and numbers as needed

For Guidepost Homeschool subscribers

If you are already subscribed to Guidepost Homeschool, start in the order below to navigate to the corresponding lesson plans using the Decimal Fraction Material in our Altitude learning platform.

Wondering about supplies used in particular lessons? Detailed materials lists can be found at the beginning of each lesson in Guidepost’s Altitude system, as well as on the materials cards at the beginning of each unit.

  • Corresponding Altitude lessons

    Lessons (Altitude Cards) where the Decimal Fraction Material is used

    Level 1

    • Quantity Part 1
    • Symbols Part 1
    • Quantity Part 2
    • Decimal Hierarchies
    • Reconstructing the Hierarchies
    • Forming and Reading Quantities Part 1
    • Forming and Reading Quantities Part 2
    • Symbols Part 2
    • Forming and Reading Symbols

    Level 2

    • Linking Quantity and Symbol
    • From the Symbol to the Quantity
    • Games with Decimals
    • Counting Forwards and Backwards
    • Special Notation Paper
    • Counting Forwards and Backwards with Special Notation Paper

    Level 3

    • Addition of Decimals
    • Subtraction of Decimals

    Level 4

    • Multiplying by Powers of Ten
    • Multiplying a Decimal by a Whole Number
    • Multiplying a Whole Number by a Decimal
    • Multiplying a Decimal by a Decimal
    • Writing Partial Products with the Yellow Board

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