Did the decimal move for you?

21st January 2000 at 00:00
FROM the outset, the Department for Education and Employment has claimed that the literacy and numeracy strategies are based on "best practice", yet in the DFEE magazine Teachers, number 5, we see a double-page spread erroneously propounding a fundamental mathematical misunderstanding that decimal points move.

We're not talking about a typing error here - the article sought to resolve misconceptions.

The decimalpoint doesn't move! Numbers change position when, for example, they are multiplied or divided by 10 or 100.

It is totally incorrect to say that the decimal point moves - a misconception that is exacerbated by the floating decimal point calculator - not a problem for those who use a mechanical handle-turning device.

David Smale

The Cottage





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