EL Support Lesson

Converting Fractions to Decimals

Encourage students to explain the relationship between decimals and fractions to help them with future computations. Use this lesson on its own or as support to the lesson Area with Decimals and Fractions.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Area with Decimals and Fractions lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Area with Decimals and Fractions lesson plan.

Students will be able to convert between decimals and fractions and explain their process.


Students will be able to explain how to convert decimals to fractions using models and peer conversations.

(5 minutes)
  • Present students with a thought-provoking question that focuses on fractions and conversions to decimals. For instance, write the decimal fraction 85100 on the board and ask students to do the following on a sheet of copy paper:
    1. Say the number aloud and write its written form.
    2. Write the decimal equivalent.
    3. Determine if the number is greater than or less than ¾.
  • Ask students to complete the questions on their own and then exchange papers with their partners to read their ideas. Then, allow partners to talk about ideas they have in common.
  • Gather information about their background knowledge by listening to their discussion and their vocabulary use.
  • Provide a visual of 85100 on a hundredths model if students are struggling to complete the questions. Take note of students who will need extra help with fraction conversions so you can give them extra help throughout the lesson, or place them in a teacher-led small group during the Guided and Group Work sections.
  • Tell students today they will explain how to convert from a fraction to a decimal using hundredth models.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to students that the fraction 85100 is a decimal fraction so it is easier than some fractions to convert into a decimal. Show them that 85100 converts to 0.85 and explain that they are equivalent because they have the same value. (Note: reinforce the place value for tenth and hundredths using a decimal place value chart if necessary.)
  • Review the vocabulary terms tenths and hundredths as necessary based on what you observed in the Introduction section.
  • Use the hundredths model in the Large Blank Models for Fractions & Decimals worksheet to show the value of 85100 on the model by highlighting 85 hundredths, or 85 small boxes. (Tip: alternate the shaded color for every tenths so students can count them easily.)
  • Highlight another hundredth model but this time with ¾ of the hundredths chart covered (i.e., 75 hundredths). Ask students to decide if 85100 is greater than or less than ¾. Define the terms if necessary and provide a relatable example for each term.
  • Have students share their ideas in partners before choosing volunteers to share their ideas with the class.
  • Write another number that is not a decimal fraction, such as 1 ⅘. Explain that one hundredths model is one whole, so you need to fill in the whole model to represent the digit in the ones place. Then, show students how to divide another hundredths model into 5 parts and then highlight 4 of the 5 parts.
  • Distribute a copy of the hundredths model in the Blank Models for Fractions & Decimals worksheet and have students copy your teacher marking from your model onto their own paper. Have students say the number shaded as a decimal (i.e., 1.80, or one and eighty hundredths) and as a fraction (1 80100).
(6 minutes)
  • Distribute whiteboards and conduct an activity where you display one of the highlighted hundredths models you prepared for the lesson and have students write the fraction and decimal for the model on their whiteboard.
  • Ask students to share their whiteboards with their partners before holding it up for you to see. After having students write a few numbers that correspond with different hundredth models, ask students to hold up their whiteboards without consulting their partner for the last few questions.
  • Ask a student to model explaining their answer for a conversion of their choice. Write down some of their language, or rephrase their answers to include some of the following sentences frames:
    • "I shaded in ____ hundredths, or ____ tens and ____hundredths."
    • "The equivalent decimal for ____ is ____."
    • "I know ____ is equivalent because..."
(9 minutes)
  • Ask students to work in pairs to find the decimal equivalent of the fraction 2 ¼ (i.e., 2.25) by first shading their hundredths models on the Blank Models for Fractions & Decimals worksheet and then writing the decimal. Have partners explain to each other how they got their answer once they have completed the assignment.
  • Review the answers aloud by choosing volunteer partnerships to share their ideas and their shaded models.
  • Write the language students should use in their explanations and continue to add exemplary language examples students use to the list during their whole group explanations:
    • "I shaded in ____ hundredths, or ____ tens and ____hundredths."
    • "The equivalent decimal for ____ is ____."
    • "I ____ is equivalent because..."


  • Allow students to use their home language (L1) or their new language (L2) in all discussions. Provide bilingual reference materials to assist in their vocabulary word acquisition.
  • Encourage them to use the vocabulary cards and terms in their conversations and writing. Allow them to draw pictures to support their understanding of the terms.


  • Pair students with mixed ability groups so they can offer explanations and provide feedback to beginning ELs when appropriate.
  • Challenge students to explain to the class why they cannot use a tenths model to accurately shade 0.65. Ask beginning ELs to restate their ideas and try to add to them.
(5 minutes)
  • Reference the Blank Models for Fractions & Decimals worksheet and ask students to shade in the right amount to represent a number you say (e.g., for 2.40, say two and forty-hundredths). Distribute an additional copy to students if necessary.
  • Then, ask students to write a decimal and fraction for the number they hear.
  • Ask partners to share their answers using the language you modeled and used throughout the lesson. Make sure the language frames are written on the board for student reference.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to complete the same assignment they did in the Introduction section but this time using a different decimal fraction, such as 45100.
  • Have students use the back of their copy paper from the Introduction section to do the following actions:
    1. Say the number aloud and write its written form.
    2. Write the decimal equivalent.
    3. Determine if the number is greater than or less than ¾.
  • Discuss answers as a class and correct misconceptions as necessary.

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