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Grades: 4‒7

A color calculator converts fractions less than one to their decimal equivalents, with each digit represented by a unique color. Whereas traditional calculators show a limited number of digits to the right of the decimal point, the color calculator shows as many digits as students would like. The ability to view a plethora of digits makes it easy to search for patterns in the decimal representations. The digits are displayed in rows and columns, and students can adjust the number of rows or columns to spotlight repeating patterns. 

  • Students will explore the decimal representation of fractions less than one, viewing many digits to the right of the decimal point.
  • Students will explore color-coded decimal representations of fractions with each digit replaced by a unique color throughout the expansion.
  • Students will investigate patterns in the decimal representations of fractions.

Mathematical Practices

(1) Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; (2) Reason abstractly and quantitatively; (3) Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; (5) Use appropriate tools strategically; (7) Look for and make use of structure.

Content Standards

4.NF5, 6; 5.NBT1, 2, 3; 5.NF3; 7.NS2

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This activity is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License: If you adapt and/or share this activity, you must attribute it to "KCP Technologies, a McGraw-Hill Education Company." You may distribute it only non-commercially under the same or similar license.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under KCP Technologies Award ID 0918733, with grant period September 1, 2009 through August 31, 2013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.