Teaching Rounding in 3rd Grade

Teaching rounding can be tricky. Before you teach it, it is important to make sure your students have a solid understanding of place value. (Learn more here!) In third grade, students are required to round numbers to the nearest ten and hundred.
 It is important to think about how you introduce third graders to rounding. In this post, I explain which skill I begin with. I have also included a freebie that you can use with your students as you teach third grade rounding!

When I first teach this standard, I begin with two digit numbers and rounding them to the nearest ten. I use a blank number line that shows ten numbers (i.e., numbers 30 through 40). We plot the given number (i.e. 34) on the number line. We spend a lot of time discussing the tens the number falls between. Depending on your students' foundation from previous grades, you may need to spend time reviewing a hundred chart.

Once we have determined the tens the number falls between, we discuss the number's position on the number line. From there we can round (or determine which ten it is closer to).

You can use this freebie to practice this introductory skill with your students. Be sure to save a copy to your computer!

It is imperative to begin with two digit numbers before moving on to the third grade standard of rounding three digit numbers. In my two week rounding unit, I gradually increase my students' understanding of rounding by using specific daily objectives that increase in difficulty each day. The objectives build upon each other. My students complete daily practice pages along with extension activities that deepen their understanding. For more resources to teach third grade rounding, check out this unit!


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