After further investigation, it was interesting to find that other teachers and researchers had also identified this misconception and suggested that it was related to the "symmetry" of the decimal notation (Ball & Bass, 2000; Chinn, 2008; Hiebert, Wearne & Taber, 1991; Ministry of Education, Ontario, 2006; Moskal & Magone, 2000; Resnick, Nesher, Leonard, Magone, Omanson & Peled, 1989).
418; see Figure 3) when explaining the structure of decimal notation to students.
Finally, make sure all these experiences of thousandths, millionths, and billionths are sensibly linked with neatly made and labelled place-value columns, and with calculator displays, both using decimal notation.
As with the situation in Germany, our students are also familiar with using decimals in real life with decimal notation found in everything from money to petrol prices, displayed prominently in a variety of forms and discussed frequently in conversation both at home and at school.
Results from a large scale study of students' misconceptions of decimal notation (Steinle & Stacey, 2004) indicate many students treat decimals as another whole number to the right of the decimal point.