Lesson 1

What is One Thousandth?

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to recognize the unit of thousandths in relationship to tenths and hundredths.

Lesson Narrative

In grade 4, students studied decimal fractions with denominators 10 and 100. They represented tenths and hundredths with hundredths grids, number lines, and decimal notation. 

In this lesson students make sense of representations of tenths, hundredths, and thousandths with hundredths grid diagrams, fractions, and decimals. They also see relationships between these values, namely that a tenth of a tenth is a hundredth and a tenth of a hundredth is a thousandth. Students may use informal language to describe the relationship between decimals (for example, to get from 0.01 to .001 you add a zero in front of the one.) This language supports students in sharing their developing understanding. Teachers should ask questions to help students develop more precise language to describe base-ten representations (for example, what does the extra 0 you wrote in .001 represent?). They will have many opportunities to develop this understanding in upcoming lessons.

  • Representation
  • MLR7

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Understand the relationship between one tenth, one hundredth and one thousandth.

Student Facing

  • Let’s make sense of thousandths.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Materials to Copy

  • Small Grids

Required Preparation

CCSS Standards


Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 20 min
Activity 2 15 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

Why is it important to integrate students’ lived experience into the classroom community? How might this integration empower students?

Suggested Centers

  • Mystery Number (1–4), Stage 5: Six-digit Numbers (Supporting)
  • Greatest of Them All (1–5), Stage 3: Multi-digit Numbers (Supporting)

Print Formatted Materials

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Additional Resources

Google Slides

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PowerPoint Slides

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