Rounding to the nearest ten or hundred

Usual Year Group Learning: Year 3

Rounding is an essential skill as maths progresses and vital to your child’s 11+ journey as it will help them to estimate and predict answers to complicated calculations.

By Year 3, children should have encountered rounding to the nearest Ten and rounding to the nearest Hundred.

I’ll explain rounding to the nearest Ten first. The first step on this learning journey is to know the Tens numbers either side of the number you’re going to round. For example, if I was rounding 83 I would identify 80 and 90 as the two possible nearest Tens. Blank number lines and bead strings are great resources for supporting your child as they learn to round to ten. The second step is to use the Ones digit to determine which Ten your number is closer to. In our example 83 is closer to 80 and rounds down.

The most common problem with rounding is not knowing whether to round up or down. I’ve always found the following rhyme a helpful memory aid:

Nought to four,

Hit the floor,

Five to Nine,

Climb the Vine.

Essential Knowledge
  • Digits 0 to 4 always round down
  • Digits 5 to 9 always round up
  • Whatever you’re rounding to, it’s the digit to the right that’s the decider. For nearest Ten that’s the Ones digit, for nearest Hundred it’s the Tens digit.
What to ask your child
  • Which Tens is this number between?
  • Which Hundreds is this number between?
  • Does 4 round up or round down?
  • Does 350 round down to 300 or up to 400?
Useful Resources