Year 5

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We can say what any digit represents in a number with up to seven digits, including three decimal places

Year 5 Unit 2

What we are learning:

  • Decimals can be ‘tricky’ so we are learning to identify the value of any digit within a decimal number.
  • It is important to remember that 1/10 is bigger than 1/100 and 1/1000 i.e. 0.1 is bigger than 0.01, and both are bigger than 0.001
  • Every time we move one column to the right the value gets ten times smaller.
  • Think about links with where we see decimals in real life – at the petrol station, measuring for a new carpet.

Activities you can do at home:

Write the digits below onto the place value chart and read the number aloud – for example 3.75 and ask
What is the value of the 7? How would you write this? (7/10, seven tenths, 0.7)
What is the value of the 5? How would you write this? (5/100, five hundredths, 0.05)

Now try the same activity with 1/1000 which is 0.001, ten times smaller than 1/100, one place further to the right. Draw a grid to help.

And other questions to extend thinking:
How many tenths equal 2 whole ones?
How many hundredths equal 2 whole ones?


Play the ‘What did I Change?’ game. A game for 2
You will each need: A calculator (most mobile phones have a calculator)

How to play:

1. Ask your child to put a number into the calculator – a number with one decimal places to start with 576.3, 207.1,

2. Ask your child to make a record of their original number and keep it to themselves

3. When they give the calculator to you, change one of the digits in the number by adding or subtracting something. You will need to remember what you did!

4. Return the calculator to your child and ask Which digit did I change?
How do you know? What did I do to change it? ( there may be more than one possible answer to this question)

5. Try with numbers with two decimal places and seven digits 263.14, 984.05, 602.52

6. You can also play this where you both have a calculator.

Play ‘Down to Zero’
You will need: one calculator

How to play:
1. Put a seven-digit number into a calculator for example 3764.29

2. Ask your child to reduce the 2 digit to 0 with one calculation. (They will need to press the following keys: – 0.2 = or – .2 =). This means they have to understand that the value of the digit 2 in this number is 2 tenths. (If they pressed the keys – 2 = something different will have happened! – this is a good discussion point).

3. Reduce all the digits to zero until you are ‘Down to Zero’

4. Try again with other seven-digit numbers 3074.75, 8305.19 Remember to start with ones your child can succeed at and raise the challenge one step at a time.
Take it in turns so that your child is also checking what you do – they will learn from this too.
You can also record the steps you take to get the number ‘Down to Zero’

Ask questions like these:
What is the value of the 7?
Which place is the digit 2 in? How do you know?
How could you rearrange these digits to give the largest number?
How could you rearrange these digits to give the smallest number?

Good questions to ask:

What is the value of this digit in this number?
What does this digit stand for?
How much is this digit worth in this number?

If your child:

Gets confused about the value of columns to the right of the decimal point
Use a place value chart to label the columns so that your child can see their value. Talk together about how the value of each column gets ten times smaller as we move one column to the right, and that this keeps happening once we have moved to the right of the decimal point. One tenth is therefore ten times smaller than a unit. One hundredth is ten times smaller than one tenth.

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)