What's in a Name? Fractions and Decimals

  • Fourth Grade
  • Math
  • 70 minutes
  • Standards: 4.NF.C.6
  • no ratings yet
August 13, 2015
by Dee Mulhern

In this lesson, your students will play with cards to practice giving fractions a new decimal name. They will be able to convert fractions to decimals by the end of this lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to rename fractions with denominators of 10 and 100 as decimals.

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Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Engage students in a discussion about any nicknames they may have. Give several examples of full names and shorter names, such as Matthew and Matt.
  • Ask your students if calling someone by a nickname changes who the person is.
  • Relate fractions to decimals by making a comparison to nicknames.
  • Explain that fractions and decimals are different names for the same value.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Explain to students that to determine how to write a fraction as a decimal, they need to look at the denominator, or the bottom number in a fraction. The fractions they will use today have denominators of 10 or 100.
  • Tell students to listen to how you say the fraction 53/100.
  • Write this fraction on the board. Write the decimal 0.53.
  • Explain that the denominator of 100 tells them to take the digits in the numerator, or the top number, and fill the tenths and hundredths places to get 0.53. Show this number using base 10 blocks.
  • Give students the example of 7/10. Explain that this denominator of 10 tells them to fill in one digit in the tenths place.
  • Give a final example of 8/100. Explain the use of 0 as a placeholder in the tenths place since both the tenths and hundredths places have to be filled to show 0.08.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (20 minutes)

  • Have students work in groups of 3 to 4.
  • Give each group of students a deck of cards.
  • Separate cards into two piles of face cards and number cards.
  • Keep the ace card with the number cards.
  • Tell students that on their turn, they will choose two number cards that will serve as the numerators.
  • Instruct them to choose one card from the face card deck for the denominator, where a king equals 10, and a queen equals 100. Explain that the jack is a wild card, and students can decide whether to use 10 or 100.
  • Have all students in the group write each fraction and decimal in their notebooks.

Independent Working Time (10 minutes)

  • Distribute and have students work on the Lock and Key worksheet independently.



  • Enrichment: For a challenge, encourage students to convert decimals back to fractions. You can also ask them to convert fractions with a denominator of 1,000 to a decimal.
  • Support: For students in need of support, build base 10 block models to represent the fractions chosen during the guided practice portion of the lesson.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Make sure to circulate as students work in groups to check for understanding.
  • Collect the independent practice worksheet.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Have students pair and share about the relationship between fractions and decimals.
  • Give several fractions, and have your students convert these number to decimals.
  • Have students write the decimals on whiteboards to hold up for a quick visual assessment.

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