The body of the Decimal Snake consists of 10 pieces. Each piece is equally partitioned into 10 parts. Once the “whole” of the Decimal Snake is designated, then each body part represents one-tenth of that whole, and each partition of a body part represents one-tenth of one-tenth (or one-hundredth) of that whole. For example, if the whole Snake is designated as 1, then each body part represents 1/10, and each partition of a body part represents 1/100.
Many students often struggle with decimals or problems associated with decimals. The Decimal Snake has been useful for helping students learn to locate, order, and compare decimals.
Students can use the decimal snake to learn how to read, write, and compare decimals to thousandths.
Sample Tasks and Explorations
- Locate each of the following numbers on the Decimal Snake. Begin by designating the value of the whole Snake: 0.4, 0.48
- Compare 5.5 and 5.47. Begin by designating the value of the whole Snake.
- Joshua and Serhat each timed their own quarter-mile run with a stopwatch. Joshua says that he ran the quarter mile in 2.47 minutes. Serhat was more accurate in his timing, reporting that he ran the quarter mile in 2.8 minutes. Who ran it the fastest and how much faster was he?
- If the entire Decimal Snake represents 10, what does each partition of a body part represent?
- What would the entire Decimal Snake need to represent so that each partition of a body part represented 1/10?