Okay, so they have learned this already in 3rd and some what in 2nd as told to me by the teachers who teach that grade level at my school. They taught it using a number line and asking what number is a so and so number closer to.

I have done the same. We do Mountain Math and Daily Math, which both have rounding/estimating in them. But no matter how many times I remind my students how to do it and show them a quicky...they can't do it! It's on the state test coming up in 3 weeks (we'll be on Spring Break for two of those weeks).

How oh how do you teach this to your kids? I plan on teaching it for two days and having them practice it. I want to know a good strategy for teaching it and getting the kids to remember it easily. It should be something so easy...but these kids just can't! It makes me furious to know they have learned it and that they just can't make it stick. I want to make it stick! AHHHHHHHHHHH!

Find that place value, circle that digit.
Number to the right, underline, get it.
Four and under, circle stays the same.
Five and up, add one is the game.
Now flex your muscles like a hero,
Digits to the right turn to zero.
All other digits stay the same,
Wow, you're a winner in the rounding game.

I have my students underline the place they are rounding to - then they circle the neighbor to the right. I classify the circled # as either weak (0-4) or strong (5-9). Then, above the number we write our stay/weak answer and our go/strong answer. Then they circle the correct annswer after looking at the circled "Boss".

I have found with my students that if they only have two answers to choose from it is much easier for them that is why I have them write the two possible choices - they eventually don't need to do that but in the beginning it helps.

40 50
48 Picture the 4 underlined and the 8 circled - 8 is a big strong boss so we go to 50.
If it was 248 and rounding to the nearest tens we talk about how the number to the left tags along in the answer (like a puppy, etc...)

Try:
Four or less, give it a rest.
Five or above, give it a shove.

I've also tried the "Rounding wheel". I found it in a Mailbox Magazine.
It's a circle divided in half. You number it like a clock, but stop at 9. The left side has a big +0 and the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 are on that side. Then the right side has a big +1 and the digits 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. I give a copy to each student and eventually have them draw it on their own. It's very helpful because it's visual.

Oops! I forgot. I also have students underline the digit/place value they are rounding to and have them underline the digit/place value behind it just like someone mentioned.

We tried for weeks to get our students to understand rounding at the beginning of the year, but I don't think they were ready yet. Most are finally understanding it now. We used the same trick of underlining the rounded place, circle the place to the right. The number 5 and up have power, 4 and below don't. For example:
565 - underline the 6, circle the 5 on the right (makes it look like a zero). Does 5 have power - Yes it does, so it tells the 6 to GROW UP! (They love that part!) and everything else is a zero. I kept the numbers on the board: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 - no power, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 - power and they finally seem to get it now!

I took that first chant and then turned it into a cheer. Luckily, someone on our campus had pompoms. I grabbed those and invented motions to go along with the cheer. That way the kids can now imagine my making those motions when they are thinking of the cheer.

I had kids who definitely didn't know rounding grasp it yesterday. There are several strugglers...as there always are. But they will practicing rounding again today and hopefully they will become a bit better.

Thank you all so so so much for your wonderful suggestions!

We have the kids decide what two numbers that end in zero is the number between. Then we have them draw a hill and put the lower number on the left and the higher number on the right. Then we mark a line at the top of the hill and put the number in the middle there. Then we put the number we are rounding on the hill. I ask them if we were skating and had to suddenly stop on that number, which way would we roll. Then we teach them 4 or less, let it rest, 5 or above, give it a shove. Basically, its like the numberline, but we shape it like a hill. Hope this makes sense. I have been up for 2 days..

Gosh....I am having this exact problem 2day. I am teaching rounding to my 4th graders and most of them don't have a clue as to what is going on. It is SUPER EASY.....most of them are not able to round to the nearest TEN. I am going to go hard 2morrow with this method I found on here. I will let u all know how it goes.

C- Circle the number you are rounding
U- Underline the number to the right
B- Baby or Bully? Baby (0-4) stays the same Bully (5-9) round up
A- Add zeros to all the places behind the circled number