Intro to hundredths

An Introduction to Hundredths

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Once children learn the tenths, they start learning how to read, write, and model numbers with hundredths. They do so by using numerals and number names, in addition to a decimal point. These early lessons on decimals are often not smooth sailing for many students.

As a math teacher or homeschooling parent, you’d naturally want to provide the best support to your students when teaching this topic. To help you out in this endeavor, we’ve created a list of great math tips for teaching the hundredths. Use these tips in your classroom and see your students’ math knowledge soar!

Kids standing in front of a white board

How to Teach the Hundredths

Review Tenths and Place Value

Since learning the hundredths implies knowledge of the tenths as well as place value, you may want to start your lesson with a review of these topics. You can implement a brief bell-work activity for this purpose.

For example, you can write a few multi-digit numbers on the whiteboard and ask students to identify the place value of each underlined digit. For additional guidelines on place value, you can also check out our article that’s dedicated to this topic.

You can then remind students that the tenths refer to the first digit to the right of the decimal point. Write a few examples on the whiteboard and ask students to identify the tenths. For additional guidelines on tenths, you can also check out our article that’s dedicated to this topic.

Where Is the Hundredths’ Place?

Now that children know that the tenths are the first digit to the right of the decimal point, you can explain that the hundredths are simply the second digit to the right of the decimal point, i.e. the digit to the right of the tenths place.

A good way to help students understand the hundredths is by providing a visual model. You can draw a square on the whiteboard and divide it into hundred equal parts, i.e. a decimal grid. It may also be practical to have a pre-prepared square. Then, shade one hundredth, or 0.01.

Explain that one part out of a hundred equal parts is one hundredth or 0.01. So in 0.01, the 1 is in the hundredth place. Students can easily see that you’ve shaded only one part of the hundred parts of the square:

one part of the hundred parts of the square

Then, you can illustrate to children how we can graph 0.01 on the number line. Point out that if we observe the number line, we can conclude that there are ten hundredths in one tenth:

A number line

Provide a few examples and underline the hundredths.

Reading Decimals

Students sometimes understand the basic principle of how to graph a decimal on the number line or how to present it visually but may experience difficulties with reading the given decimal. So, you can provide examples of how we read or write decimals in word form.

For instance, explain that we read 0.36 as thirty-six hundredths; 2.04 as two and four hundredths; 0.02 as two hundredths; 0.38 as thirty-eight hundredths; 0.57 as fifty-seven hundredths; etc.

Additional Resources:

You may also decide to enrich your lesson with multimedia materials, such as videos. For example, consider using this video in your classroom for an introduction to decimal numbers, such as the tenths and the hundredths.

The video illustrates how we can represent different coins on a decimal grid. For instance, we can see how a penny (one out of one hundred cents of a dollar) is shown on the decimal grid. In other words, the video shows how we can represent 0.01 on the decimal grid.

Activities to Practice Hundredths

Decimal Game

This is a fun online game that will help students improve their understanding of hundredths with the help of visual models. To play this game in your class, the only thing you’ll need is a sufficient number of devices and a decent internet connection.

Divide students into pairs and explain the rules of the game. The members of a pair compete against each other to complete the questions they’re presented with. Students are asked to answer diverse questions related to hundredths.

For instance, they have to shade the model (a decimal grid) to represent a given decimal on the model, or they are presented with a shaded model and several decimals out of which they have to select which one is shown on the model.

If students answer correctly, they score coins. In the end, the two students in a given pair compare their final scores. The winner is the person with the highest score. Parents who are homeschooling can also use this game as an individual activity with their children.

Place Value Pirates

This online game will help children practice their recognition skills when it comes to identifying decimals to the tenths and hundredths. Make sure that each child has a suitable device and provide instructions for the game.

Each student should answer ten questions in total, related to identifying place value. Several pirates stand on different decimals and students must identify which pirate has a given digit in the tenths’, hundredths’, tens’, or ones’ place, for instance.

As such, the game is very useful for students to improve their ability to differentiate between a digit in the tenths and the tens place, or one in the hundred and the hundredth place. The game is played individually, making it ideal for homeschooling students.

Matching Game

To play this game in your classroom, you’ll need two sets of cards: one set contains a shaded decimal grid that represents a decimal and the other set contains a decimal (such as 0.03, 0.28, 23.87, etc.).

Since this is a matching game, make sure that there is a corresponding shaded decimal grid for each decimal that you have on the other set of cards. In the first set, there is one grid per card and on the second set, there is one decimal per card.

You can prepare as many cards as you think fit for your class, depending on the size of the class. Just make sure to have at least twenty cards per group, or ten decimal matches per group. You may also choose to laminate the cards so that you can re-use them next year.

Divide students into groups of 3 or 4 and hand out the two sets of cards. The cards remain face down until you provide the signal that the game can start. Provide instructions for the game and explain that the students must match the cards from the two sets.

Point out to students that all members in one group work together and race against other groups to be the first ones to finish the matching. The first group that manages to match all cards correctly wins the game.

Before You Leave…

If you enjoyed these tips and activities, make sure to check out our lesson that’s dedicated to teaching hundredths to 4th graders by becoming a member of the Math Teacher Coach community! Or if you need more free guidance with structuring your class and teaching, sign up for our emails for more free lessons and content!

Feel free to also check out our blog, where you’ll find a bunch of cool resources for teaching children of all ages!

This article is based on:

Unit 6 – Decimal Fractions