Rounding Thousands – Surprisingly Difficult to Explain

Luke is working on Chapter 19 in his Math-U-See Beta book. The chapter is on creating estimates by rounding to the thousand. He watched the DVD on the chapter and I thought he understood it well but as I checked in with him on his worksheet I noticed that he was answering some of the questions incorrectly. So we went to the white board and I explained to him, the best I could, how you round to the thousand. This was surprising difficult to explain. I think he got it best when I listed numbers in 100s increments between one thousand and another – such as 2000, 2100, … , 3000. Then I circled the 2500 and we could clearly see that was equally between 2000 and 3000. Anyway, you get the picture – that’s not easy to explain. Sabrina had to go over it with him again and she says she thinks he’s got it now.

It’s interesting to think that at one time, possibly when I was around Luke’s age, I didn’t know how to round thousands. Things that used to be difficult become easier with practice. It reminded me of the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “That which we persist in doing becomes easier – not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do it has increased.”

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3 thoughts on “Rounding Thousands – Surprisingly Difficult to Explain

  1. Nice quote Joey…it works with so many things. I just started running with a friend in the morning and noticed this morning that it wasn’t as bad as it has been the past few times…

  2. That was my father’s favorite quote, Joey. He made me memorize it. Heber J. Grant used it a lot.

    Yes, that is a hard concept to teach.

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