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Decimal Rounding on a Number Line

Rounding according to proximity on number line

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Decimal Rounding on a Number Line

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Every morning before school, Traci takes care of a chicken. Traci's chicken weighs 5.86 pounds but she wants to round that to the nearest whole number. Unfortunately, she doesn't know how to round numbers that have decimals. How can Traci round her chicken's weight to the nearest whole number, and what is the rounded weight?

In this concept, you will learn how to round decimals.

Rounding Decimals Using a Number Line

Let's look at rounding decimals using a number line.

Here you have a number line. You can see that it starts with zero and ends with one. This number line has been divided into quarters. It goes from 0 to 0.25 to 0.50 to 0.75 to 1.0.

In order to round 0.33, the first thing that you want to do is graph it on a number line.

Determine which quarter 0.33 is close to by looking at the number line. 0.33 is closest to 0.25. The answer is 0.25.

You can also round decimals to the nearest whole using a number line.

Round 4.2 to the nearest whole number.

Use the number line to show which whole number 4.2 is closest to on the number line.

4.2 is between 4 and 5, but it is closer to 4.

The answer is that 4.2 rounds to 4.

Examples

Example 1

Earlier, you were given a problem about Traci's chicken.

Her chicken weighs 5.86 pounds and she wants to round that to the nearest whole number. Round 5.86 to the nearest whole value.

First, divide a number line in to quarters and look at the position of 5.86.

5.86 is between 5 and 6.

Then, determine whether 5.86 is closer to 5 or 6.

6

The answer is that 6 is the nearest whole value. Traci's chicken's rounded weight is 6 pounds.

Example 2

Round 0.78 to the nearest tenth.

First, divide a number line in to tenths and look at the position of 0.78.

0.78 is between 0.7 and 0.8

Then, determine whether 0.7 is closer to 0.7 or 0.8.

0.8

The answer is that 0.8 is the nearest tenth.

Example 3

Round 0.47 to the nearest tenth.

First, divide a number line in to tenths and look at the position of 0.47.

0.47 is between 0.4 and 0.5

Then, determine whether 0.47 is closer to 0.4 or 0.5.

0.5

The answer is that 0.5 is the nearest tenth.

Example 4

Round 3.01 to the nearest whole value.

First, divide a number line in to quarters and look at the position of 3.01.

3.01 is between 3 and 4.

Then, determine whether 3.01 is closer to 3 or 4.

3

The answer is that 3 is the nearest whole value.

Example 5

Round 0.89 to the nearest whole value.

First, divide a number line in to quarters and look at the position of 0.89.

0.89 is between 0 and 1

Then, determine whether 0.89 is closer to 0 or 1.

1

The answer is that 1 is the nearest whole value.

Review

Use the number line and round to the nearest decimal on the number line.

  1. 2.54
  2. 2.12
  3. 2.78
  4. 2.89
  5. 2.33
  6. 2.42
  7. 2.97
  8. 2.01
  9. 2.11
  10. 2.27
  11. 2.15
  12. 1.98
  13. 1.87
  14. 2.76
  15. 2.9

Review (Answers) 

To see the Review answers, open this PDF file and look for section 3.11. 

Resources

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Vocabulary

Decimal

In common use, a decimal refers to part of a whole number. The numbers to the left of a decimal point represent whole numbers, and each number to the right of a decimal point represents a fractional part of a power of one-tenth. For instance: The decimal value 1.24 indicates 1 whole unit, 2 tenths, and 4 hundredths (commonly described as 24 hundredths).

Round

To round is to reduce the number of non-zero digits in a number while keeping the overall value of the number similar.

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