 Learning Library

Dividing Decimals By Powers of 10

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Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Divide by Powers of Ten pre-lesson.
Do you need extra help for EL students? Try the Divide by Powers of Ten pre-lesson.
• Students will divide decimal numbers by powers of 10 and explain decimal placement patterns in the quotient.
The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
(5 minutes)
• Show your students the following problem 37.5 ÷ 102.
• Have your students brainstorm any details they understand about the expression and note their answers on a chart paper.
• Read the learning objective aloud to the class.
(10 minutes)
• Review the concept of exponents as powers of ten, connecting them to thoughts that may have been previously shared on the chart paper.
• Demonstrate the procedure for calculating the power of 10 as a whole number equivalent. (For example, 102 is (10 x 10), and (10 x 10) is equal to the whole number 100.)
• Note that a whole number like 100 has no exponents and no decimal.
• Using a calculator, model solving 37.5 ÷ 100 for your class.
• Share the answer, or quotient: 0.375.
• Note the movement of the decimal point in the quotient (0.375) compared to the dividend (37.5).
• Point out that the decimal in the answer has moved two places to the left.
• Ask your students to turn and talk to a partner and describe any patterns they notice in the movement of the decimal and 37.5 ÷ 102.
• Have your students share out their ideas to the whole class and make any connections to previous shared information on the chart paper.
(10 minutes)
• Show your students the following problem: 37.5 ÷ 104.
• Calculate 104 as a whole number equivalent: 104 is (10 x 10 x 10 x 10), which is equal to 10,000.
• Instruct your class to solve 37.5 ÷ 10,000 with a calculator.
• Tell them to note the movement of the decimal point in their quotient and observe the new position of the decimal from the dividend.
• You should observe that the decimal in the answer has moved four places to the left.
(15 minutes)
• Distribute the Powers of 10: Division worksheet, and review the instructions.
• Explain that students will see the powers of 10 as whole numbers, find the quotient to the division problem and then describe any recognizable patterns of decimal movement.
• Tell students they can use calculators and review any previously shared information on the chart paper that enriches their understanding.
• Answer any clarifying questions about the assignment.
• Divide the students into pairs or small groups to complete the Powers of 10: Division worksheet.
• Circulate the room and guide students with leading questions as needed.

Enrichment:

• Have students add an extra digit of their choice on each dividend of the Powers of 10: Division worksheet.

Support:

• Refer students to information on the chart paper to reference as they have questions.
• Use the ESL version of the worksheet as needed.
• As you walk around the room performing check-ins, ask clarifying questions and gauge student awareness of the lesson objective and procedures.
• Collect and review practice sheets if desired.
(5 minutes)
• Have students check their answers with at least two other students and discuss answers that don't match.
• Call the class to attention and ask if anyone wants to share missing parts of a scaffolded sentence frame similar to this one: "I observed ____. My conclusion about today's assignment is that when you divide a decimal number by a power of 10, ____. Post the sentence frame in a place where the whole class can see it."
• Collect student work and review at another time to make a note of any other academically evaluative criteria.

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