Lesson plan

Party Planning with Decimals

Get your students excited about rounding with this activity that lets them plan a party while they learn!
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Students will be able to round decimal prices to the nearest dollar and calculate a total.

(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that today they are going to plan the next class celebration. They will need to select desired supplies for the celebration from catalogs or websites while staying within a given budget.
  • Tell them that rounding, or altering a number to make it less exact but more convenient, the decimal places will make it easier for them to see if they have stayed within budget.
  • Show students a party supply catalog or website. Tell students their maximum budget.
(5 minutes)
  • Fold a piece of paper so it has three columns. Label these columns "Product," "Price," and "Rounded Price."
  • Select a party product from the catalog or website.
  • After recording the product and price, review with students how to round a decimal to the nearest whole number.
  • Review the rules for rounding up or down.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students take turns selecting a product for you to record.
  • Ask students to round the decimal price to the nearest dollar and explain the rule they used.
  • After recording three products, demonstrate finding the total price using the rounded whole numbers.
  • Ask students why they think rounding the decimal prices makes it easier to find the total price.
(20 minutes)
  • Give small groups of students a piece of lined paper for recording their desired purchases. Have them write the type of celebration and the budget at the top.
  • Have them create the same three columns you created earlier: "Product," "Price," and "Rounded Price."
  • Provide each group with a party supply catalog or access to a party supply website.
  • As students select products, circulate among the groups to check for correct rounding and reminding them of their budget.
  • Enrichment: Students will be able to calculate shipping charges for the total amount of their purchase. Once a group has reached a total price for their desired products, have them locate the shipping charge chart and calculate the shipping charge and new total price.
  • Support: Scaffold the choice process by requiring students to choose 1 decoration, 1 paper product and 1 activity. Give students number lines to help them with rounding.
(10 minutes)
  • While circulating among groups, ask individuals to explain why a certain price was rounded up or down. Record these observational notes to plan for next instructional steps.
  • Evaluate each student's ability to correctly round decimal prices to the nearest whole dollar.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students what problems they encountered while planning.
  • Ask them how rounding the prices made it easier for them to keep a running total and stay within budget.

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