Year 5

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We are revisiting this concept.
We can now confidently multiply or divide whole numbers and decimal numbers by 10, 100 or 1000

Year 5 Unit 11

What we are learning:

  •  We are revisiting this issue as it is so important.
  • Although it is tempting to say ‘you just add a zero’, this does not promote understanding of the mathematics. Your child needs to know what is happening to the size of the numbers. Also, adding a zero will only work when multiplying whole numbers, it does not work for decimals i.e. 2.5 x 10 is 25 not 2.50.
  • Similarly, you may have heard the phrase ‘move the decimal point’, however, the decimal point does not move, the digits (numbers) do.
  • Your child also needs to understand that we use zero as a ‘place holder’ e.g.
  • Children can get confused by which way the digits ‘move’. Encouraging them to think about what is happening to the size of the number will help with this.

Activities you can do at home:

Play the ‘Secret Calculator’ Game. A game for 2 players.
You will need: a calculator
How to play:
1. Player 1 enters a number into calculator and passes to player 2.
2. Player 2 has to secretly multiply or divide the number by 10, 100 or
1000 before passing back to player 1.

Player 1 has to work out what player 2 entered into the calculator and say what happened to the number. E.g. ‘you pressed ÷ 100 which made the number 100 times smaller’

Good questions to ask:

What has happened to the number you entered into the calculator – has it got bigger or smaller?
How many times has it got bigger or smaller by?
What did I multiply or divide your number by?

If your child:

Can write down the answers to these multiplications and divisions quickly
Ask them to tell you the answer without writing it down – this is even more difficult as they have to visualise the answers!

Extension Activity

Please use this activity when you think your child understands the unit of work. It will deepen and extend your child’s understanding of this unit.


Extension activity (PDF)