Use these 5 fun rounding activities for upper elementary to supplement your rounding lessons this year.
Rounding numbers is something that always seems like it should be so easy, but it takes some practice for this skill to come easily to students. Good rounding instruction includes a good introduction of the rules and a whole lot of practice and review in many different forms.
Teaching Rounding in Upper Elementary
When teaching rounding to my students, I always made sure they had a good foundation and knowledge related to place value. If students don’t know place value, it’s hard for them to round. So, for starters, I strongly recommend taking a closer look at this post about different activities you can use to teach place value using our FREE Interactive Place Value Chart.
Once students have a good understanding of place value, then I start teaching them rounding.
Do you remember the old rules for rounding a number? I sued to teach rounding by starting out with an anchor chart featuring the rules below:
- Underline the number you’re rounding to
- Draw an arrow to the number to the right of the one you underlined
- Remember our rounding rules
- 5 and above (5, 6, 7, 8, 9) give it a shove
- 4 and below (4, 3, 2, 1,0) leave it go
- All of the digits to the right turn to zeros
- All of the digits to the left stay the same (*Exception: if the underlined number is a 9, then it gives a shove to the place to the left.)
But, later on, I realized that this isn’t the best way to teach rounding. That’s when I discovered using number lines to teach rounding. After that, it all made sense. So when introducing and practicing rounding, we have a lot of these numbers lines printed out. You could even laminate them and use dry-erase markers to use them again and again.
Once we had the number lines down, then came the fun games and activities to make it stick. These fun rounding activities for upper elementary on this list are some of my favorites because many of them can be used for both whole-class and individual or small group work.
Fun Rounding Activities for Upper Elementary
#1 | FREE Halloween Rounding Activity
This Free Halloween Rounding Activity gives a festive twist to our rounding practice. Students use these candy-themed task cards to practice rounding both whole numbers and decimals. The task cards can be used on their own, you can use them in your Halloween Glow Games, or you can use the included game board to let pairs or small groups play during center time.
#2 | Rounding Game Show
Many of the fun rounding activities for upper elementary on this list will work well for individual or small group work, but I particularly like our Rounding Game Show as a whole-class activity.
The Rounding Game Show is a jeopardy-style game that allows students to practice rounding in a variety of ways including using number lines, rounding the underlined digit, and picking between different options.
When working through the game shows in a full group, I break students up into six groups, and we use the built-in scorekeeper. Each group will have the opportunity to pick a category and answer the question, but all of the other students will also participate by writing their answers on a whiteboard or an accountability sheet that is printed to look like the game board.
Each game provides 25 different opportunities to practice!
#3 | Rounding U-Know
As we do for most skills, we also have two Rounding U-KNOW games (one for rounding whole numbers and one for rounding decimals). Rounding U-KNOW cards prompt students to practice and/or review their rounding skills in a fun card-game atmosphere.
If you are new to our U-KNOW games, these card-based games can be used in a variety of ways. To learn more about U-KNOW and even more ways to reuse and repurpose your U-KNOW cards, take a look at this post where we’ll lay out even more ideas!
#4 | Rounding Digital Puzzles
If you need a rounding activity that is no-prep, self-grading, and easily accessible on any device by a link, then you’ll want to grab the Rounding Digital Puzzles.
Each set of puzzles includes 3 different puzzles covering the same skills, and the puzzles can be accessed on any device. Our Rounding Digital Puzzles are self-checking and provide just the right amount of scaffolding and support as students can use the images to help them solve some of the questions they are having trouble with.
#5 | Number Line Rounding Activities
Lastly, you can use these FREE number lines to practice rounding with your students.
These number lines are the perfect supplement to many of the fun rounding activities for upper elementary that are already on this list. These number lines can be laminated, and students can use them over and over, or you can set up a bunch of number lines around the room and have students move from station to station using the number lines to solve a series of different rounding questions.
It’s amazing how something so simple can be so helpful!
As you begin to look for fun rounding activities for upper elementary this year, make sure to take a closer look at some of these fun and highly engaging resources. Students are sure to enjoy the variety of activities and the built-in competition!