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Subtracting Decimals (Elementary)

Directions: Make the smallest (or largest) difference by filling in the boxes using the whole numbers 1-9 no more than one time each.



What number does each box represent?



No answers yet.  If you have one, post it in the comments.

Source: Robert Kaplinsky

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  1. My fourth grade students came up with 0.14 is the smallest difference. This could be achieved by a few different ways. However, the tenths and hundredths had to be ___.12 – ___.98

  2. We thought about negative numbers. My class came up with -9.36 if you consider negative numbers.

    • I’m rethinking our logic now. The smallest difference would mean show two numbers that are as close as possible on a number line.

  3. My fifth graders also got .14 as the smallest difference, but we did it using the digits 1-9. Both 4.12-3.98 and 5.12-4.98 can give you this result.

    They also figured 9.87-1.23 = 8.64 as the largest difference.

  4. My 4/5th grade students also got 0.14 several ways using _.12-_.98= 0.14. We did not use negative numbers.

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