Multiplying Decimals – How To Teach and Model


Working on multiplying decimals may be tricky work in upper grades. Here is a tip for modeling decimal multiplication so that students can see what it looks like, and what the process of multiplying decimals really looks like.

I think this is a genius idea rather than just teaching them how to do it, you’re teaching why multiplying decimals works out the way it does. They’re much more likely to remember the how to after.

This idea is from Andrea at For the Love of Teaching Math. Here’s the tip that she provides:

Students will have a working space like a one hundred grid or block. This allows them to show the decimal using shaded squares and essentially the area of a rectangle.

Multiplying Decimals

Multiplying Decimals - How To Teach and Model - Teach Junkie

This pictoral representation allows them to really see that 0.7 is 7 out of 10 or 7 tenths. This is huge for getting the concept down.

They can count the number of squares in the rectangle and be able to apply what they know about using base ten blocks to convert each square.

You’ll need to check out how Andrea uses the base ten blocks to finish off teaching this concept and see more examples. You’re sure to love how concrete it makes teaching converting decimals and multiplying them!

She includes a free handout so you can try it too with your students before moving onto a real world example…

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Leslie {aka the original Teach Junkie} loves learning new things to make teaching easier and more effective. She enjoys featuring creative classroom fun when she's not designing teacher shirts, making kindergarten lesson plans or planning her family's next trip to Disney World.