Simple Saturday: The Metric Worm vs. The Phantom Number

The Phantom Number lurks within any dreaded fraction just waiting for an opportunity to scare the bejeebers out of some unsuspecting kid learning how to change a fraction into a decimal. I ain't afraid of no ghost number, are you? Come on. With the Metric Worm in hand, we can do this together. go first. I'm right behind you.

Whole numbersYou've got the supplies, right? Two index cards, tape, a Sharpie, a pencil, and some paper? To slay this creepy phantom let's tape the cards together and make long worm. We'll place the decimal at the center of the joined cards. The whole numbers go on the left, remember. We're going to stretch this brave wiggler all the way to the hundred-thousands place.

Going to the left away from the decimal we make a mark for the ones place, the tens place, the hundreds place, the thousands place, the ten- thousands place, and the hundred-thousands place. Hope this doesn't hurt the little fella.

Metric numbersNow the metric numeral places go on the right. We're doing to pull the little guy all the out to the hundred-thousandths place. This is the scary part. Hold my hand.

Make marks for the tenths place, the hundredths place, the thousandths place, the ten-thousandths place, and the hundred-thousandths place. Ouch!

Oh, my gosh! Will you look at the fraction? 579607 49/1000! I gives me chills to think where we'll place that ugly 49/1000 on the worm. Looks at those frightening zeros! Where will we put them?

We can do this. Breathe.

Lay the worm on the page. Remember the decimal separates the whole number from the fraction. Mark the decimal on the page. To the left of the decimal write out the long whole number by placing each numeral above the proper place value. 

The Phantom is trying to trick us here, but we won't fall for it. He is asking for 49 ten-thousandths. Let's give it to him. Put the nine over the ten-thousandths place. Put the 4 over the hundredths place.

Oh! Do you see him? The Phantom Number? There he is...howling above the tenths place.

Let's put an end to his haunting and write a zero above the tenths place.


Take that Phantom!

BOO back at 'cha!