How to Write Decimal Equivalents: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Equivalents in Real Life
  • 0:20 One Half
  • 1:30 One Quarter
  • 2:09 One Tenth
  • 2:38 One Eighth
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mark Boster
Fractions are strange things. We know what half of a pizza and what one quarter of a dollar looks like, but what if we need to convert these values into decimals so we can use a calculator? Find out in this lesson.

Equivalents in Real Life

Susie and her sister Sarah found two quarters on the floor. Sarah said they found 50 cents, but Susie said they found one-half of a dollar. ''Which one of us is right?'' they asked Mom. ''You both are,'' Mom said. How can this be possible?

One Half

When you write the number one-half, it usually looks like this: ½. But how do you enter ½ on a calculator? You can't enter fractions into most calculators (½). That's why you need to convert them into decimals.

One way to convert ½ into a decimal is as follows: 1 ÷ 2, which gives you 0.5. Keep in mind, that if you put a 0 before a number on the left side of the decimal point, it won't change the value, so 0.5 is the same as .5.

Now let's consider one half in terms of money. If you can count money with quarters, you can do it with decimals. Isn't a half dollar (two quarters) worth 50 cents? So ½ = one half = .50.

Just like zeros won't change the value if added before any numbers to the left of the decimal point (like 0.5 versus .5), they won't change the value if added after the last number in a decimal. So .50 is the same as .5 and .500.

One Quarter

How much is one quarter worth? The answer is 25 cents, or .25 in decimal form. You can express ¼ as one-quarter or one-fourth. So .25 = ¼.

The value of two quarters is 50 cents, which is the same as saying you have a half dollar. You can write two quarters as .5 or 2/4.

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