To add decimals using the standard algorithm, follow these steps:
1). Write down the numbers with the place values and decimals lined up
2). Put in zeros so the numbers have the same amout of place values.
3). Then add. Make sure you bring the decimal point straight down in the answer.
That's all there is to it - just remember to line up the decimals, then add normally.
To subtract, follow the same method: line up the decimals, then subtract as usual.
Why can we add zeros? A zero is really saying "there is no value at this decimal place".
- In a number like 10, the zero is saying "no ones"
- In a number like 2.50 the zero is saying "no hundredths"
- It is safe to take a number like 2.5 and make it 2.50 or 2.500, but you cannot take 2.5 and make it 20.5 because they are not the same values.
Watch this LEARNZILLION video on how to add using the models.
Subtracting using decimals models. Watch this video to understand how to subtract using decimal models.