I'm looking for a rounding poem to help my students. I know the one about four & below down you go, five and above round up with love, but my kids are having trouble with the down you go part. For example, 34 rounded to the nearest ten, they think it should be 20. I've shown them on a number line and it seemed to help. I recall a poem about the number on the left staying the same. I just can't remember it.

A resource teacher I taught with used this idea:
For 5-9 when you round up tell them it's like the number gets a birthday. For 0-4 they don't get a birthday. This usually works because kids realize that if today's not your birthday, you're still just as old as you were yesterday. You're not getting any younger! Hope that helps.

Find the number in its spot.
Go next door and see what you've got.
5 or more raise the score,
4 or less let it rest.
All the numbers to the right run to zero in a fright.

I also teach the students to underline the digit that we are rounding in its place value spot. I also teach the struggling learners to draw an arrow, either up, or down, above the next door number. This helps them to remember to raise or rest. Finally, I show them that the numbers to the left remain the same and the numbers to the right turn to 0.

I hope this makes sense. It's a great oral tool and the students catch on quickly. Good luck!

BTW< you are right on track IMO with the number line. The fact that they are rounding 34 to 20 shows that they don't actually understand what they are trying to do. (In which case rhymes or other memory tricks will not be too useful)

Find your place look next door, Five or greater add one more, Four or less let it rest, Numbers in front stay the same, Numbers behind zero is your name. hope that helps u
if it doesnt, email me at tiffaniemorton@hotmail.com

I got this from someone on PT so I can't take credit for it. I haven't started rounding yet so I haven't used it, but it's cute & I think the kids will understand and remember it.

when rounding look to the right,
four or less are out of sight.
Five and and up we'll buy one more,
before they too are out the door.
and in those empty right hand spaces,
zero keeps their proper places.