Decimals Teaching Resources
Browse decimal worksheets, math center activities, engaging games and more fun ways to bring this concept to life in your elementary classroom.
This teaching resource collection was created by the teachers on the Teach Starter team and includes activities to help students learn to convert fractions into decimals and vice versa, as well as printables that will help them learn how to read and write decimals using place value and the decimal point, how to round decimals and more!
Build students' understanding of using decimals in money and measurement with curriculum-aligned teaching resources so you can meet Common Core and state standards.
New to this concept in the math classroom, or just looking for some fresh ideas for teaching about decimals? Explore a primer from the teachers on the Teach Starter team!
What Are Decimals? A Kid-Friendly Definition
Explaining decimals to your class? Here's a kid-friendly definition that will help!
A decimal is a special way to write parts of a whole number. Decimals are a lot like fractions, but instead of using numbers like 1/2 or 1/4, we use a dot called a decimal point to separate the whole number part from the part that is less than one.
The number before the decimal tells you how many wholes you have, and the digits after the decimal point tell you how many groups of one-tenth, one-hundredth or one-thousandth you have.
One of the most common places students will encounter decimals in real life is when using money — the dollar is a whole number, while cents are a part of the whole and are typically represented beyond a decimal point.
How Do You Turn a Decimal Into a Fraction and Vice Versa?
Turning decimals into fractions and doing the reverse are both important skills for students to develop. Here are simple processes for doing just that!
How to Turn a Decimal Into a Fraction
- Write down the digits in the decimal over its place value.
- For example, if you have the decimal 0.75 (seventy-five hundredths), you would write it as 75/100.
- Simplify the fraction by finding the greatest common factor (GCF) of the numerator and denominator and dividing both by it.
- In the example above, the GCF of 75 and 100 is 25, so dividing both by 25 gives you the simplified fraction 3/4. This means 0.75 as a fraction is 3/4.
How to Turn a Fraction Into a Decimal
To turn a fraction into a decimal, your students will need to divide the numerator (top number) by the denominator (bottom number).
- Divide the numerator by the denominator.
- If the numerator does not divide evenly by the denominator, add zeroes to the dividend to continue the division to as many decimal places as needed or desired. Don't forget to add a decimal point after the digit found in the denominator!
- Round the decimal to the desired number of decimal places, if necessary.
How Do You Round Decimals?
Another skill students need to learn is the process of rounding decimals to the nearest whole number or to a specific decimal place. This will allow them to simplify numbers, making them easier to work with! This comes in handy when doing things such as rounding to the nearest dollar amount when working with money.
Rounding can also be used to get a general sense of a number without worrying about the exact value, which can be helpful in certain situations, such as estimating a budget or measurement.
To round a decimal to the nearest whole number, you need to look at the digit to the right of the decimal point.
- If that digit is 5 or greater, you round up to the next whole number.
- If that digit is 4 or less, you round down to the current whole number.
For example, let's say you want to round the decimal 3.7 to the nearest whole number. The digit to the right of the decimal point is 7, which is 5 or greater, so you round up to 4.
How Do You Add Decimals?
Let's start with one of the simplest operations when it comes to decimals: adding.
- Line up the decimal points of the numbers to be added.
- Add the numbers as if they were whole numbers.
- Place the decimal point in the sum directly below the decimal point in the original numbers.
How Do You Subtract Decimals?
Subtracting decimals is pretty similar to adding, although the operation is different. Here's how it works:
- Line up the decimal points of the numbers to be subtracted.
- Subtract the numbers as if they were whole numbers.
- Place the decimal point in the difference directly below the decimal point in the original numbers.
How Do You Divide Decimals?
Whether you're trying to find the average of a set of numbers that include decimals or trying to determine the unit price of an item on the grocery store shelves, being able to divide decimals has plenty of real-world application for students.
The basic process of dividing decimals follows the same basic principles as dividing whole numbers, with one additional step — you need to adjust the decimal point in the divisor (the number you are dividing by) and the dividend (the number you are dividing) so that the divisor becomes a whole number.
Here's how to do it:
- If the decimal point is missing from one or both of the numbers, add it to the end of the number(s) so that they are both decimals.
- For example, if you are dividing 72 by 0.6, add a decimal point to 72 to make it 72.0.
- Move the decimal point in the divisor to the right until it becomes a whole number. At the same time, move the decimal point in the dividend the same number of places to the right. Keep track of how many places you moved the decimal point.
- Divide the adjusted dividend by the adjusted divisor (which is now a whole number), just like you would with whole numbers.
- Move the decimal point in the quotient (the answer to the division problem) back to the left the same number of places you moved the decimal point in step 2.
How Do You Multiply Decimals?
Multiplying decimals can help your students calculate the total cost of items at the store, determine the amount of a discount or tax and a whole lot more. The process to do it is simple, once they get it down!
- Ignore the decimal points and multiply the numbers as if they were whole numbers.
- Count the total number of decimal places in the numbers being multiplied.
- Starting from the right of the product, count that many places and insert a decimal point.
Describe That Decimal Worksheet
Deepen your students' understanding of decimals with this one-page worksheet.
Decimal War Card Game
Practice determining the bigger decimal in the ones, tenths, and hundredths place with this “War” card game for 2 players.
Complex Dot-to-dot Worksheet – Ordering Fractions and Decimals (Cat)
Practice ordering fractions and decimals with this complex dot-to-dot worksheet.
What's My Card? Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages - Game
A set of cards to be used in a Guess Who? Board Game for students to reinforce their knowledge of fractions, decimals, and percentages.
Lost in Decimal Woods - Decimal Number Line Interactive
Recognize and analyze decimals on a number line with an exciting self-checking interactive game.
Decimals Worksheet - Operations
Two worksheets that focus on operations using decimals.
Comparing and Ordering Decimals - Worksheet
A worksheet that requires students to compare and order decimals.
Multi-Digit Whole Numbers and Decimals – Exit Tickets
Assess student understanding of multi-digit whole numbers and decimals with this set of math exit tickets.
Rounding Decimals – Mystery Picture Worksheet
Round decimals to the nearest whole, tenth, hundredth, and thousandth while revealing a mystery image with this color-by-number worksheet.
Decimals on a Number Line (Tenths and Hundredths) Slide Deck
Teach your students how to identify, order, and label decimals on a number line with an interactive teaching presentation.
Fraction, Decimal, Percentage Match-Up Game
A game of match up using fractions, decimals, percentages and fraction wheels.
Rounding Decimals - Worksheets
A worksheet that requires students to round decimals.
Fractions and Decimals Assessment - Year 3 and Year 4
A four-page assessment covering various fractions and decimals concepts.
Operations With Decimals PowerPoint
A 26-slide editable PowerPoint Template to use when teaching your students how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide using decimal numbers.
Place Value Chart - Thousandths Place
A blank place value chart to use when exploring decimal numbers.
Math Mazes (Equivalent Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages)
Determine equivalent fractions, decimals, and percentages with this puzzling math maze.
Naming Decimals – Place Value Worksheet
Use decimal place value skills to represent numbers to the thousandths place in standard, word, and expanded form.
Multiplying Decimals – Task Cards
Use various strategies to multiply by a decimal with this set of 24 task cards.
Adding and Subtracting Decimals with Base-10 Blocks – Worksheet
Use this worksheet when teaching your students how to model adding and subtracting decimals with base-10 blocks.
Converting Decimals, Fractions, and Percentages – Worksheet
Strengthen your students’ understanding of how to convert a percent to a decimal and a fraction with this worksheet.
Multiplying and Dividing Decimals Match-Up
Solve equations involving multiplication and division of decimals with this match-up activity.
Comparing and Ordering Decimals – Worksheet
Practice comparing and ordering decimals to the thousandths place with this worksheet.
Dividing Decimals – Match-Up Activity
Divide decimals and find the correct quotient with this match-up activity.
Rounding Decimals - I Have, Who Has? Game
Review how to round decimals with an exciting I Have, Who Has? game.
Comparing & Ordering Decimals – Poster Set
Display different strategies for comparing and ordering decimals with this set of posters.
Adding and Subtracting Decimals Word Problems – Worksheet
Practice solving word problems by adding and subtracting decimals to the thousandths place with this worksheet.
Fractions and Decimals Number Line Puzzles
Practice identifying fractions and decimals on a number line with this set of 2- and 3-piece puzzles.
What's That Decimal? - Number Line Mystery Reveal
Sharpen numeracy skills by identifying decimals on a number line with an interactive mystery picture reveal.
Fractions, Decimals, and Percents Tarsia Puzzle
Practice converting and matching fractions, decimals, and percentages with a fun tarsia puzzle.
Decimals on a Number Line - Poster
Help your students visualize and identify decimals on a number line with a printable decimal number line anchor chart.
Fraction, Percentage, and Decimal Word Wall Vocabulary
Print a set of fraction, percentage, and decimal vocabulary for use on a math word wall.
Decimals on Number Lines - Codebreaker Worksheets
Crack the number line code with worksheets practicing identification, addition, and subtraction of decimal numbers.