Yes...I am desprite. I have been teaching for 10 years and EVERY year it's the same thing with rounding numbers. They act as if they have never seen the concept before. This concept is REVIEW, yet I bang my head against the wall with it. I teach fourth grade. They are rounding numbers into the millions-any place value. Does [U]anyone [/U]have a strategy that works out there????

FYI: I have taught the number line strategy and the place value strategy( looking to the number to the right of the number to be rounded and so on.) I have done small group instruction for my struggling students( they leave getting it...really they do) I have sent home extra practice for those severe cases. I blocked out two days to teach and practice the concept. Yet, we do a quick review ( 10 problems on the concept and they get 40% or 50% on it????? Help, I'm being driven crazy!!!!!

My 4th graders were struggling with rounding big numbers, too. I found a cute little rhyme here on PT that I tried this year. Wow.....it helped so much!

I first taught them to underline the digit we were rounding to and then look next door. We even draw an arrow from the underlined number to the one next door.

Then, together, we say this....It's kind of a military chant that the kids repeat each line after me....

0,1,2,3 and 4
Don't change that number any more!

5,6,7,8, or 9
Change that number everytime!

Rounding!
Rounding!

Now, on assessments, I see them saying the chant in their heads before they answer the question! I "think" I can finally say they've got it!

FYI: It is "desperate" which might even be a 4th grade spelling word. Good luck with helping students round. My kids have a lot of trouble with that as well.

I too struggled with this until I came upon this rhyme (from Mailbox). They really seemed to get it when I had them do it. Hope it works for you.

Find your place (have them underline the number they are rounding to)
Look next door (draw an arrow to the number on the right)
5 or greater add one more (they then write below the number, either
the one number more or keep it )
All digits in front stay the same (write down all digits in front)
All digits behind zero's your nme (write zeros for the number after)

This was kind of hard to explain but it actually helps those visual learners understand how to do it. If I have a student missing too many, I pull them aside and go over the steps with them. They usually can do it after that.
Here is the rhyme without all the instructions added:
Find your place
Look next door
5 or greater, add 1 more
All digits in front stay the same
All digits behind, zero's your name!

I teach that numbers 5 and up are Power Numbers. They have the power to change the number. Numbers 4 through 0 are weaklings with no power to change. I also use the same chant with Find the number look next door,etc. They catch the power thing and it seems to make it easier for them.

At any rate...I appreciate the chanting strategy, iteach4th.
I tell my students to put a box around the number they wish to round. The number to the right is the "boss" of the number in the box. The chant will help. Thanks to everyone. Well.. almost everyone!

I actually just finished teaching rounding to my third graders. I use the acronym: UZA. I found it on the Internet...a teacher thought of it
herself!
It's an acronym for "Underline, Zero, Arrow".

I have them first decide which number that they're rounding to. When
they find the number (for example, the hundred's place), I have them
underline it. ("U").

Next, they mark through every number to the right of the underlined
number, and write zero's for underneath each number. ("Z").

They then draw an arrow ("A") from the underlined number to the number
to the right, and examine it, asking themselves, is this number
greater than 4? If it is, add one to the underlined number, if it
isn't, leave it alone. Then write the number beside the zeros. As we
work, we repeat the UZA code. Also, I have the students recite the following poem to help them figure out if they're suppose to round up or down:
Five or more;
Raise the score.
Four or less;
Give it a rest.

The students really seem to like the acronym and poem. Also, to go along with the UZA acronym...another colleague of mine made up a fun and catchy cheer to go with it. The kids love it and it truly helps them with rounding!

What I've found is most difficult for my children is to decide which two tens or hundreds a number falls in between- they get when they should round up or down, but it is deciding what number that is is the most difficult. We spent a lot of time this year drawing the numbers using base ten blocks. They would draw the number, then the two tens or hundreds. THen we looked at our "roller coaster" to decide which way we need to go. More of my class got it this year than in the past.

I found a little graphic one time that helped my kids, it's a hill with the number 0 at the bottom on the left, 5 at the top and 0 at the bottom on the right. You space the other numbers between. We used a little marker for our "car." First we decided what two numbers would be at the bottom of the hill (example 38 would be between 30 and 40), then we would "drive our car" up the hill to number 8, and it "rolls forward to number 40. If it had been, let's say 32, then when the little car gets to "2", it rolls back down the hill to 30. If it can make it to the top of the hill (5) it can roll over to the next number... if not, then it rolls back.

I'll see if I can find the graphic and post it. I found it, this is NOT my creation, I found it online somewhere years ago, and just copied and pasted it into a document and made multiple copies to put in my mini offices for math.

I use this story every year with my 3rd graders and they always remember it. And just like the original poster, I act it up like crazy. They laugh and then they go "Oh!" http://mathforum.org/t2t/faq/gail/duck.story.html
or look up "rounding duck story" (-:

I have had the same experience with rounding and my 5th graders. I found a rounding cadence on proteacher that I am using this year and my kids love it. I can't remember who I got the original idea from, but I changed it a little and had fun with it. It goes to the tune of the traditional military cadence march you always hear in the movies or on tv. We stand up and march as we say it and we also made up hand motions to go with it. This really helped because in class if they get stuck I just start doing the motions and they automatically start chanting the words. Thank you to whoever passed this on to me. It works!!!!

Rounding Cadence
(T) Find the place you’re rounding to
Kids repeat
(T) Look next door check what to do
Kids repeat
(T) For the numbers 5 through 9
Kids repeat
(T) Round that number up the line
Kids repeat
(T) For the numbers 0 through 4
Kids repeat
(T) Round it down, do nothing more
Kids repeat
(T) Round up (Kids) 5 through 9
(T) Round down (Kids) 0 through 4
(Together) Rounding numbers it’s so ... easy

This is really late I know but I learned something really neat this year. We always underlined the number to be rounded and circle the number next to it. Then we ask does it round up to stay the same. Someone gave me the idea of getting a balloon. Hold it with all five fingers is a grip. Release one finger at a time, then ask does the balloon go up with 1 finger, the reply is no it stays the same. This continues until you release the fifth finger. Then the balloon goes up. Therefore 0-4 stay the same, then 5-9 round up. It was really neat and my fifth graders are now drawing little balloons instead of circles around the number next to the number that needs to be rounded.