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30 Smart Place Value Activities and Games for Elementary Math Students
Place value pool noodles? Genius!
Place value is one of those basic concepts that help kids build a wide variety of math skills. There are lots of fun place value activities and games you can use to help them understand, whether you’re working with basic tens and ones or have advanced to decimals with tenths and hundredths. Here’s a terrific collection of ideas to add to your upcoming lesson plans!
1. Start with an anchor chart
Help students understand and remember four ways to represent numbers and place value with an anchor chart. Turning the chart into a robot ups the fun factor!
2. Read a book about place value
We’re not talking about the paragraph in their math workbook that explains the concept. We mean one of these engaging and entertaining place value books that capture kids’ imagination while helping them understand how place value works and why it matters. There are plenty of options out there—here are a few of our favorites.
- Zero the Hero , by Joan Holub and Tom Lichtenheld
- Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens , by Cindy Neuschwander
- Place Value , by David A. Adler
3. Turn paint samples into place value sliders
Use the cutouts in paint sample chips as little “windows” for numbers. This is a fun and colorful way to introduce place value to your students.
4. Show it four ways
Ask students to demonstrate their understanding of place value by showing one number in a variety of ways. Get a free printable worksheet for this activity at the link.
5. Transform a pillbox into a place value manipulative
Stop by the dollar store for some weekly pillbox containers, then use our free printable labels to turn them into dice shakers you can use for all kinds of place value activities.
6. Stack place value Cheerio towers
Looking for more inexpensive math class ideas? Grab a box of uncooked spaghetti and some Cheerios to use for your place value activities.
7. Visualize place value with a foldable
Use sentence strips and dry-erase tape to create a reusable math manipulative that reinforces place value concepts and expanded form.
8. Slide cards into binder pages
Use divided binder pages along with number and base-10 cards to show place value. Call out each digit and its place (“There’s a 3 in the thousands place”) and see if your students can make the correct number.
9. Construct a tower of base-10 blocks
Base-10 blocks are a popular math manipulative , and they’re perfect for teaching place value. This activity challenges kids to use the blocks to find three different ways to build a structure representing 1,000. New to base-10 blocks? Here’s a good starter set from Amazon to try.
10. Figure out the place value of your name
Here’s another clever use for base-10 blocks. First, have each student use them to spell out their name. Then, count up the numbers of tens and ones blocks to determine your name’s place value!
11. Stack paper cups
While you’re at the dollar store, pick up some stackable paper cups. Number them 1 to 9 along the edge, and then use them to talk about place value as you stack them to create different numbers.
12. Build place value bugs
How cute is this little number bug? Use large pom-poms for tens and smaller ones for ones, then set them on a wood craft stick to create a number.
13. Shoot for the target with LEGO bricks
LEGO bricks really are ideal for place value activities. Toss the bricks onto a homemade target with rings to represents ones, tens, and so on. Count the studs of each brick that lands on a place value ring, then add them up to get your final number. See more LEGO math ideas here.
14. Build understanding with LEGO bricks
You know your students love to build with LEGO, so use them to reinforce place value concepts too. Hands-on place value activities are always the most fun!
15. Act out multiplying and dividing
Active math games are one of the best ways we know to get kids involved in their learning. Find out how to act out multiplying or dividing by powers of 10 at Teacher Thrive .
16. Play a game of Place Value War
Play this game with Uno cards or a classic deck with face cards removed. Each player has a number of piles (depending on which place values you’re working on) and lays down the top card from each. The players say the resulting numbers out loud (e.g. “five hundred thirty”), and the player with the highest number wins. For a fun variation, allow players to use the cards they flip to create the highest possible number.
17. Build a number
Kids select some number cards, then try to meet a series of challenges like making the largest number they can. Add in a decimal card to up the complexity of the game.
18. Keep track of school days in a pocket chart
Each day, count how many days students have been in school this year by adding counters like 10-frames to a pocket chart. The number climbs as the year goes on, building from ones to tens to hundreds.
19. Send them on a scavenger hunt
Grab a stack of old magazines and newspapers and let kids loose to find examples of the place value challenges set in this scavenger hunt. Go to Primary Theme Park to get the free printable.
20. Shake things up with Yahtzee
Roll out the dice and try to beat your opponent as you fulfill the conditions of this special game of Yahtzee. Print the free game boards and get the rules at the link below. Find more creative ways to use dice in your classroom here.
21. Enjoy a game of Whack It!
What kid doesn’t love to whack things with a fly swatter? Put that energy to good use by having them slap the swatter down on the correct values as you call them out.
22. Take a journey on the Place Value Path
This free printable game combines a traditional board game with bingo. Roll the dice to see which outer square you land on. Count up the number represented by the base-10 symbols, and mark it on your bingo board. When you get five in a row, you win!
23. Toss beanbags into place value bins
Combine hand-eye coordination practice with math skills in this place value game. Label bins for tens, hundreds, etc., and choose a number. Kids toss numbered bean bags into the correct bins to win!
24. Snack and learn with rainbow math
Use Froot Loops cereal pieces and pipe cleaners to learn tens and ones with this free printable activity. Don’t want to use cereal? Try beads instead.
25. Use nuts and bolts to learn place value
Looking for inexpensive ways to represent base 10? Try nuts and bolts! You can pick them up in bulk at the hardware store, and it’s easy to replace them if they get lost.
26. Make giant DIY ones and tens blocks
Cut squares of bright-colored card stock for ones, and tape together a series of them to create the tens. Then add smiley faces to the top just for fun, and have kids hold up the giant blocks to represent various numbers.
27. Cut a pool noodle into tens and ones
The nice thing about these DIY manipulatives is that they’re easy for little hands to handle. Cut pool noodles to represent tens and ones to give kids practice building numbers.
28. Solve a place value puzzle
Place value activities are still important for older kids. This advanced activity asks them to solve math word problems and write the solutions into the correct place on the grid. Get the free printable at Education.com .
29. Complete a place value maze
This advanced place value activity gives students practice adding hundreds, thousands, and higher. They find the next correct answer in the maze as they go along. Visit Math Geek Mama for these free printable mazes.
30. Walk along giant number lines
We love place value activities that also get kids up and moving! For this one, use masking tape to create number lines for ones, tens, hundreds, etc., on the floor. Choose a number and use paper plates to mark the correct places on the number lines, or have kids stand on the correct mark instead.
Looking for even more math fun? Try these fun and free fraction games!
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Free download printable place value game.
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35 Place Value Games To Play In Your Classroom
June 1, 2021 // by Suzanne Bucknam
Place value can be one of the more challenging, but basic concepts for kids to understand, which is why it's important to introduce it in order from concrete to abstract - and in a variety of fun ways.
Place value games are games that introduce and/or reinforce a child's understanding that a digit's place in a number affects its value. For example, the digit "2" in the number 325 represents 20, not 2.
Playing educational games is the most effective way to help students understand how to arrive at the correct answer. Interactive games are great for reinforcing a child's knowledge of the place-value concept and hands-on place value activities are great for independent learning.
Here are some fun and creative place value games that will help students enhance their math skills to understand this concept in a meaningful way and make learning place value a less confusing concept.
1. Place Value Pirates
Place Value Pirates is a fun activity that is great for 1st grade math on into the 2nd grade. This free printable activity can be played independently or as different variations of interactive games.
Learn more: Math Geek Mama
2. Place Value Stomping Game
This is a fun and easy-to-set-up place value game for kids that involves their whole bodies. This DIY game is adaptable to different learning levels, which is great.
Active math games are great for getting students up and moving.
Learn more: Creekside Learning
3. Learning Place Value with Beads
This is a fun place value game that can be played alone or in pairs. Students can take turns rolling a ten-sided die and then adding beads to gain a deeper understanding of 10 ones being the same as a single unit of 10.
Learn more: Mrs. T’s First Grade Class
4. Three Little Pigs Place Value Game
Making house from base-10 blocks is a creative math game that plays off the classic children's tale, The Three Little Pigs. In addition to learning place value, students also learn about even and odd numbers.
Learn more: The Lemonade Stand Teacher
5. Roll the Dice
Rolling dice onto a page of place value graphics is a fun and easy way for kids to learn place values. This is a perfect game for reinforcing math concepts after a child has worked with hands-on materials, like tangible base-10 blocks.
Learn more: Lory’s 2 nd Grade Skills
6. Place Value Marshmallow Towers
What could be a more fun place value game for kids than one involving marshmallows and Fruit Loops?
Learn more: Gingersnap Treats for Teachers
7. Place Value Pizzaria
Using a pie graph (pizza pie, in this case) you can teach children that numbers can have multiple representations. This is a fun game that can be adapted to all levels of learning.
Learn more: 2 nd Grade Ponderings
8. Place Value Sliders
Place value sliders are a fun way to supplement place value textbook learning for kids. This place value game can be laminated and enjoyed again and again.
Learn more: The Teaching Nest
9. Place Value Board Game
This is a fun and interactive place value game for kids. Using task cards and a game board, a child's understanding of place values is reinforced.
Learn more: The Measured Mom
10. The Dot Game
The Dot Game is one of the fun kindergarten math games that can be introduced after a child has worked extensively with mathematic manipulatives. This material uses a place-value chart for kids to practice dynamic and static math equations.
Learn more: Wonderful Montessori
11. Composition of Quantities
Montessori math materials are perfect for preschool math activities. Composing quantities using golden beads, children learn how individual digits come together to back base-10 blocks.
Those base-10 blocks can then be manipulated to form a hundreds digit.
Learn more: Carrots are Orange
12. Circular Tray Place Value Game
Using math manipulatives, number cards, and an inexpensive circular tray, you can create a variety of place value games for kids.
Learn more: Where the Magic Happens Teaching
13. Fishing for Place Values
Fishing for Place Values is a place value game that has kids fish for base ten blocks and tally up the product of their catch.
Learn more: Teach Starter
14. Cup Stacking
This is such a simple, but creative place value game. In this cup-stacking place value game, students build pyramids to earn points while learning about place values.
Learn more: Runde’s Room
15. Building Numbers
Hands-on lessons to introduce the place-value concept are important. In this building numbers game, students get a chance to construct quantities from number cards.
Learn more: The Kindergarten Smorgasboard
16. Place Value Pasta
Learning about place value by using colored pasta is one of the most fun preschool math activities. Manipulating fun-colored pasta noodles is a great way to help kids form an understanding of this all-important concept.
Learn more: Playground Park Bench
17. Place Value Scavenger Hunt
With a place value scavenger hunt, kids have to search around the room for numbers. They can use magazines, books, newspapers, or anything else they can find.
18. Place Value Toss Game
This is a fun 2 player place value game that can be set up inexpensively, using mostly items you likely already have on hand. There are also some creative variations of this game to try.
Learn more: Learning Ideas Grades K-8
19. Place Value Math Circle
A great way to teach kids place value is to get them moving around and using their bodies. A Place Value Math Circle is a great way to do this.
20. Place Value Snake
Making a snake from cardboard to teach children about place values is easy and fun. All it takes is a strip of paper and a marker. For younger children, you can make it more interesting by adding features of a real snake.
Learn more: E is for Explore
21. I Have..Who Has?
The I Have...Who Has? game is very simple and fun. It gets kids interacting with each other while reinforcing their understanding of place values.
Learn more: Teacher Mama
22. Finding Place Value in Nature
Finding place value in nature is great for the playground environment at school or for homeschooling parents, as it's highly adaptable to the child's immediate surroundings.
It also teaches students that math concepts can be found anywhere and everywhere.
Learn more: Gryphon House
23. Place Value Flip Book
When students are first introduced to digit values, they are typically confined to working with one or two-digit numbers. When written numbers are combined with hands-on materials, though, there's no need to limit the size of the numbers.
A Place Value Flip Book lets young students have the chance to work with very large numbers, which is always exciting.
Learn more: Education.com
24. Base Ten Counters
Teaching children that different items can be used as math manipulatives helps develop their mathematical minds so they can see math everywhere they look.
Learn more: Entirely at Home
25. Last Number Standing
This is a great place value game that gets kids up from their desks and having fun. The teacher calls out place value amounts until there is only one student left standing - incredibly fun.
Learn more: Primary Theme Park
26. Place Value Snacks
Snack time is a great opportunity to work in place value games. Using mini marshmallows as units, pretzel sticks as tens, and soda crackers as 100s you can create a fun place value game.
Learn more: Amy Lemons
27. Place Value Ice Cream Match
This is a great place value game for when the weather is warm. It can be introduced in a summer-themed learning unit or as a stand-alone activity.
Learn more: 123 Homeschool 4 Me
28. Montessori Stamp Cards
Montessori math is an effective method that focuses heavily on incorporating the decimal system and place value work throughout the activities. These stamp cards are a fun take on traditional Montessori materials.
Learn more: Dingoden
29. Place Value Robot
This is a fun way for kids to play with the concept of place value. Students get to construct a robot while learning about units, tens, and hundreds.
Learn more: No Time for Flashcards
30. Tens and Ones Bingo
This is a fun place value game that is great for the classroom, as it can be played in large groups. It comes with a variety of calling cards that can be used for different age groups.
Learn more: Down Under Teacher
31. Don't Spill the Beans
Don't Spill the Beans is a fantastic way to introduce the concept of place value. It uses beans as the manipulative, which is great for developing fine motor skills , as well.
Learn more: Kindergarten Crayons
32. Apple Picking Place Value
Learning place value through real-life experiences is unique and exciting for kids. This apple picking game/place-value chart is wonderful for the Fall season when students are returning to school, to reinforce their understanding of place value.
Learn more: Waldorf Moraine
33. Mystery Puzzles
This series of fun puzzle games is a fun, hands-on take on some of the online base ten learning games.
Learn more: The Moffatt Girls
34. Owl Spinner
These owl spinners have students spin both the dials and record the numbers in a grid. This game is great for students who have worked with manipulatives and are ready to move into more abstraction.
35. Place Value Super Powers
Living in the era of technology has its benefits. When students have worked with base-ten manipulatives, Primary Theme Park has a fun place value game that will help them cement their understanding of place values.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you teach place value in a fun way.
There are so many fun ways to teach place value. Introducing place value using colorful manipulatives gets kids interested in learning more about it.
Why do students struggle with place value?
Students, especially young students, struggle with place value because it's a bit of an abstract concept. When it's introduced in concrete ways, though, children struggle less with it.
How do you introduce place value?
Place value should be introduced early on in a child's academic career and in a hands-on, fun way. Place value games are a great way to accomplish this.
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25 Activities to Teach Place Value
- Christopher Olson
- February 14, 2022
- No Comments
Place Value Activity 1. Write the Room
2. Morning Meeting Routine
3. Lego Block Place Value
Place value activity 4. file folder games, 5. paint swatch place value, 6. math centers.
Place Value Activity 7. Base Ten Monsters! (Or Robots)
8. place value names, 9. identify different place value units.
Place Value Activity 10. Place Value War
11. place value read alouds.
- Zero the Hero by Joan Holub (aff)
- Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens by Cindy Neuschwander (aff)
- Math Fables: Lessons That Count by Greg Tang (aff)
- Earth Day–Hooray! by Stuart J. Murphy (aff)
- Place Value by David A. Adler (aff)
- A Place for Zero by Angeline Sparagna LoPresti (aff)
- The King’s Commissioners by Aileen Friedman (aff)
- A Million Dots by Andrew Clements (aff)
- How Much is a Million by David Schwartz (aff)
- Penguin Place Value by Kathleen Stone (aff)
12. Place Value Math Printables
Place Value Activity 13. Rolling for Place Value
14. place value yahtzee, 15. color by number.
Place Value Activity 16. Pool Noodles
17. center work mats.
18. Place Value Hopscotch
Place value activity 19. snowball place value toss, 20. i have, who has.
21. Place Value Nuts and Bolts
Place value activity 22. ping pong challenge, activity 23. place value and science.
24. YouTube Videos
Place value activity 25. rainbow place value.
Written By: Christopher Olson
Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.
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Place Value Worksheets
Place value and base 10 blocks worksheets.
Our place value worksheets focus deepening a student's understanding of our base 10 system. In our " base 10 blocks " worksheets, students manipulate blocks (units of 1) and rods (groups of 10) to build, deconstruct or add numbers. Later worksheets focus on building 3 digit to 6 digit numbers.
Choose your grade / topic:
Grade 1: Base 10 blocks worksheets
Grade 1: Place value worksheets
Grade 2: Place value worksheets
Grade 3: Place value worksheets
Grade 4: Place value worksheets
Grade 5: Place value worksheets
Grade 1 base 10 blocks worksheets
- Regrouping unit blocks into blocks of 10 ("rods")
- Counting "tens" and "ones"
- Breaking a number (11-99) into rods ("tens") and blocks ("ones")
- Adding 2 digit numbers with base 10 blocks
Grade 1 place value worksheets
- Identifying tens and ones from 2 digit numbers
- Combining tens and ones into 2 digit numbers
- Identifying a digit's place value (tens, ones)
- Building a 2 digit number with missing addends
- Write 2 digit numbers in expanded form
- Write 2 digit numbers in normal form
Grade 2 place value worksheets
- Building a 3-digit number from the parts
- Missing place values in 3-digit numbers
- Write 3-digit numbers in expanded form
- Write 3-digit numbers in normal form
- Hundreds, tens & ones - identify the underlined digit
- Comparing and ordering numbers up to 100 and 1,000
Grade 3 place value worksheets
- Building 3, 4 and 5-digit numbers from the parts
- Missing place values in 3 and 4-digit numbers
- Write 4-digit numbers in expanded form
- Write 4-digit numbers in normal form
- Identify the place value of the underlined digit
- Compare and order numbers up to 10,000 and 100,000
Grade 4 place value worksheets
- Building 4, 5 and 6-digit numbers from the parts
- Missing place values in 4, 5 and 6-digit numbers
- Write 5-digit numbers in expanded form
- Write 5-digit numbers in normal form
Grade 5 place value worksheets
- Building 5 and 6-digit numbers from the parts
- Missing place values in 5 and 6-digit numbers
- Build a 5-digit number from parts with decimals
- Build a 6-digit number from parts with decimals
Comparing numbers worksheets
Sample Place Value Worksheet
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Activity Quick Finder:
Tens and ones: place value lesson plan ideas.
- Math Lesson Planning
- July 12, 2017
Early childhood math lesson plans can be hard to make, especially if some of your learners are still struggling with certain math concepts like place value. Lesson plans to teach place value and number sense are a great way to enrich your early childhood math curriculum and support your students.
Here’s a lesson plan idea from Math in Minutes that will help your little learners tackle new math concepts in no time!
Leaves Are Falling
- Number line (with numbers 2” apart) or number squares numbered
- 1-10 drawn with chalk
Math Objectives that Meet Standards:
- Count by multiples of 1, 2, 5, and 10.
- Practice one-to-one correspondence.
Tune: Are you Sleeping?
Leaves are falling,
One, two, three,
From the tree.
Four, five, six,
Falling to the ground.
Seven, eight, nine,
Ten leaves falling down,
Covering the ground.
How to Do It
- This song teaches numeration and number sense. All you need is children and leaves!
- Bring the children outside. Choose 10 children and ask them to collect one leaf each from the ground. (If no leaves are available, use construction paper cutouts).
- When the children have their leaves, ask them to put the leaves together in a pile, counting in order as they place them in the pile, so they understand that the pile contains 10 leaves.
- After making the pile, ask the children to pick up their leaves and stand on one of the numbers on the number line.
- Ask them to count off, 1-10, so it is clear each child knows the number on which she is standing.
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Place value lesson planning and problems for years 1 to 6
Place value is an elementary part of Maths . It is important that children understand that whilst a digit can be the same, its value depends on where it is in the number.
This article will discuss a variety of topics and provide handy links to teaching resources for place value. We have lots covered in our handy links: place value for year 1 and 2, place value activities and lesson plans for year 3 , years 4 and 5 place value worksheets , and year 6 place value worksheets and lessons . Read on to find out more!
What does a place value lesson involve?
Teaching place value can be straightforward with the right plan in place: At its core, it is about understanding the value of each digit in a number: the 6 in 360 represents 6 tens, or 60; however, the 6 in 6,006 represents 6 thousand, or 6,000, and so on.
Above a number, you can label the value of each digit. Often these will just appear with letters on them to represent each position: Millions, Hundred Thousands, Ten Thousand, Thousands, Hundreds, Tens, Ones, tenths, hundredths, and so on.
On Pango, you can find more place value tables, or grid, and activities here . With the exception of those who have specific learning challenges, like dyscalculia, it takes very little at all to make your own table and then you can physically manipulate the numbers to show their place value. This makes a real difference when working with children.
Planning a great place value lesson
This section will concentrate on what a good place value lesson involves.
A good lesson should be one where, in the end, students will be able to visualise the place value of ones, tens, and hundreds. They can do this using manipulatives or physical objects.
Activities can provide students opportunities to transfer concrete information to more abstract practice using digits without physical place value representations.
These examples may illuminate place value with greater clarity. First, that if students understand that the three digits of a three-digit number represent amounts of hundreds, tens, and ones; e.g., 706 equals 7 hundreds, 0 tens, and 6 ones then, secondly, 100 can be thought of as a bundle of ten tens — called a 'hundred.'
You may want to read and write numbers to 1000 using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form.
Alternatively, you may want to start with an anchor chart that looks a bit like this . This may suit more advanced students.
This anchor chart helps students understand and remember four ways to represent numbers and place values with an anchor chart. Making the chart into something visual like a robot definitely adds a little something to the engagement.
You may also want to use a storybook to explain place value — a fun and entertaining place value book that captures kids’ imagination while helping them understand how place value works and why it matters. There are plenty of options out there, but here are a few favourites.
- Zero the Hero , Joan Holub/Tom Lichtenheld
- Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens , Cindy Neuschwander/Wayne Geehan
- Place Value , David A. Adler/Edward Miller
Any lesson plan should announce explicitly what students will take away by the end of the lesson. You might want to say this out loud to your students too. After a place value lesson, students should be able to:
- recognise the value of a digit based on its location within a number
- create, read, and write numbers up to 1,000
- create numbers by putting digits in places with specific values
Keep it simple
The concept of place value, while not an especially hard one compared to others in mathematics, should be simplified where necessary for students to understand. ‘What does a place value lesson involve?’ has already explained this in some detail.
In addition to labelling each digit with hundredths, tens and so on, you may ask students to demonstrate their understanding of place value by showing one number in a variety of ways, using an activity sheet and physical objects that look a bit like this provided by WeareTeachers .
Keep it relevant
Place value will be relevant to the students’ lives on a day to day basis — teachers could invent a little amusing anecdote about someone entering £392 or $392 rather than 3.92 when sending money on a phone app because they did not know what the important decimal point signified, or they simply missed it out.
When a young student understands place value, they are usually able to round numbers to a specific place. The key is understanding that rounding numbers are essentially the same as rounding digits. The general rule is that if a digit is five or greater, you round up. If a digit is four or less, you round down.
This is important because only by understanding place value can students move onto more areas in maths that are intrinsically more difficult.
Place value activities and problems for year 1
There are some great place value activities and problems for year 1 on Pango including this place value game f rom Buzzard Publishing to bring some fun to your maths lessons.
Place value activities and problems for year 2
Pango is packed full of Place value activities and problems for year 2 . We particularly like this place value charts powerpoint and worksheet from Teacher of Primary.
Place value activities and problems for year 3
For teaching year 3 place value, you can find a library containing hundreds of place value resources here . For example, this lesson contains a powerpoint and activities, all focused on comparing and ordering numbers up to 1000 .
Place value activities and problems for year 4
For Years 3 - 6, place value games are a great way to consolidate knowledge and understanding of place value. Additionally, there are plenty of high-quality place value year 4 resources here.
Place value activities and problems for year 5
For year 5, this library of place value resources brings together lessons and activities from White Rose, Teacher of Primary, Buzzard Publishing and more! For example, this place value lesson contains a ready-to-go powerpoint and worksheets that your class will love and are curriculum-aligned.
Place value activities and problems for year 6
For year 6 place value , games are perfect for consolidating all the place value learning throughout Primary school. For example, we love this 'Make 100' game that will keep all your pupils engaged.
Lesson planning with Pango
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6 strategies to help pupils develop an early understanding of place value
Number and place value are foundational concepts for all mathematics learning. This means we need to address how to teach place value as early as possible so that pupils can secure their knowledge of the concept.
How do you develop an early understanding of place value in the primary school classroom? Let’s start by defining place value . It is a system for writing numerals where the position of each digit determines its value. Each value is a multiple of a common base of 10 in our decimal system.
Here are some teaching strategies I’ve found useful when helping learners develop an early understanding of place value.
Progress through concepts systematically
Developing an understanding of place value requires systematic progression. Each new concept should build on previous learning experiences so that pupils can gain deeper, relational understanding as they go.
This approach ensures knowledge is developed, refined and applied correctly as numbers become meaningful tools for solving problems rather than just a series of symbols on a page. Most importantly, this starts our learners on the path to becoming confident problem solvers and pattern spotters.
Use the CPA approach to establish meaning
The CPA ( Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract ) approach helps pupils connect a physical representation of a number (concrete manipulatives) to that same quantity as shown in drawings or graphics (pictorial), and finally to the actual written name and symbol for that number (abstract).
I view concrete resources as meaning makers. They add meaning to abstract representations of numbers so that when learners progress to the abstract phase, they know what those numbers stand for, what they mean, and how they relate to each other.
If a pupil can identify the meaning of each component in a problem, they are far more confident in how they work to solve it.
Teach the ‘ten-ness of ten’
‘Ten’ is the foundational building block of our Base 10 numeration system. At an early level, spend as much time as possible studying the numbers from 0 to 10, as understanding the ‘ten-ness of ten’ is crucial for maths attainment, and it cannot be rushed.
Once this understanding is locked-in, follow this with an introduction to number bonds . Start with the additive relationships between numbers less than 10, then progress to adding and subtracting up to 10. This ensures that learners see 10 as an important ‘base’ number in all of their future maths applications.
Progress to 20, then to 40
I make sure to take my time teaching ten and teen numbers so that a solid understanding of place value with numbers up to 20 is properly established.
I then extend the place value concept by working with numbers up to 40 — followed by addition and subtraction to 40.
Because pupils have learned to make 10 and use number bonds, they are ready to begin working with multi-digit numbers and regrouping. Focusing on numbers to 40 while developing the concept of place value also allows learners to associate numbers with easily-managed, physical quantities (meaning makers).
Use base 10 blocks for 100 and 1000
The work we’ve done building a gradual understanding of place value will have prepared pupils to progress to three-digit numbers. So we can now move on to studying up to 100.
We start here by developing an understanding of numbers in multiple place value representations. For example, one thousand five hundred is 15 hundreds or 150 tens.
Once they get the hang of that, learners then sharpen their counting, reading, and writing skills for numbers up to 1,000. Moving into addition and subtraction with numbers up to 1,000 — with and without regrouping — is the next step.
Here is where our work establishing an early understanding of place value is key, because pupils will intrinsically know why these algorithms work for three and four-digit numbers. Base 10 blocks are a great tool to help solidify those earlier place value ideas when working with numbers up to the thousands.
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Approach larger numbers the same way
The CPA approach is once again our answer to learning place value in larger numbers. Apply those skills and always be on the lookout for chances to extend number and place value concepts.
For example, you can identify and complete number patterns or find missing digits on a number line.
From there you can explore strategies for mental mathematics as well as addition and subtraction for numbers up to 10,000. Take learners even deeper by having them explore place value with an emphasis on multiplication, division, and decimals.
Mastering maths concepts like place value in the early years is not just key to success in the classroom. It prepares learners for a lifetime of deep mathematical understanding by giving them invaluable real-world tools like resilience and problem-solving ability.
And a confident problem solver in maths is a confident problem solver in life.
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Place Value Activities for Kids
In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about place value. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Place Value topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching Place Value
Place Value Bingo Make bingo cards using different numbers. You may want students to make their own bingo cards using one-, two-, or three-digit numbers and then have them swap cards with other students. Then call out different numbers or clues such as “any number with 3 in the ones place” or “any number with no tens.” The first person to get bingo can call out numbers in the next round.
Bean Bag Number Toss
Take 10 separate pieces of paper and label them each from 0 to 9. Then give a student one, two, or three bean bags to throw at different numbers to create a number. For example, if a student throws bags on a 2 and a 3, he or she forms the number 23. Write the number on the board and have students say the number out loud and model the number using manipulatives. Have students take turn throwing bean bags.
Model a number story for your students, such as “There are 7 tens, 1 one, and 9 hundreds.” Then have students write their answers. Divide the students into small groups and have them write or tell each other their own number stories. You may want them to use place value charts to help them solve.
Roll to 100
Students work in pairs to play this collaborative game. They take turns rolling one or two dice and then showing the total of their roll with interlocking cubes or base-ten blocks. They keep rolling and amassing more cubes or blocks and when they have a group of 10 ones, they can swap it for a rod of 10. They can keep track of how many cubes they have by lining them up on or next to a hundred chart. When they have collected 100 cubes they can play again.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching Place Value
Take a walk with your child around the neighborhood. Look for one-, two-, three-digit numbers and have your child read them out loud. You may want your child to record the numbers that he or she sees. Discuss each number and ask how many ones, tens, or hundreds are in the number. What is the largest number you can find? What is the smallest number?
Write the numbers 0 through 9 on separate index cards or scraps of paper and place them in a hat. Have your child draw one, two, or three cards out of the hat. He or she can make different numbers. For example, if your child pulls the numbers 3, 6, and 9, he or she can make 3, 6, 9, 36, 39, 396, 693, etc. Challenge your child to make as many numbers as possible using the cards. What is the smallest number your child can make? What is the largest number? Help your child compare numbers by looking at the largest place values.
Base Ten Strips
Make your own manipulatives with your child at home. On one-inch graph paper have your child color 20 single boxes and then color 20 strips of 10. Help your child cut out the strips and singles. Then you can keep them in a zip-top bag and use them to make numbers that you pick out of a hat or play other number games with them. Your child can even build his or her own 100 chart by gluing 10 strips of 10 onto a poster board and labeling the numbers.
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5 Engaging Place Value Activities For First Graders
Place value is very essential to understand in the early years of education as not only it is the foundation of most arithmetic concepts, but also vital for making basic decisions in early life. Being as important as a fundamental concept of place value is, it does become difficult to comprehend it at times.
To make the process of learning place values smooth, some fun activities and games can be incorporated in classrooms or even at home. This will enhance the learning and add a fun element to it. Children tend to learn better when they are engaged in activities that involve them in a manner that is playful, exciting, and not monotonous.
Here, given ahead, are some activities that can be referred to for learning place values.
How do activities work for first graders?
Teaching place values to students by incorporating activities is an innovative approach that reinforces the concepts to be taught in an enjoyable manner. Children as young as 1st graders have a very small attention span and do not learn to comply with classroom norms right in the beginning. Learning through activities will keep them engaged and they wouldn’t feel the pressure to conform. By incorporating activities, students would want to participate and have a sense of excitement for the same rather than just attending a class out of obligation. Below are some ways in which place value can add to classroom teaching and strengthen the learned skills.
- As children in their early childhood are very sensitive to visual and auditory stimulation, activities will create a simulated learning environment through participation, keeping the students engaged and on the same page with what they are grasping. With the help of playful activities, children will not get distracted easily as they would in a normal lesson.
- Playing a game or teaching through an enjoyable activity keeps the children motivated for learning. Many times, children in their 1st grade and those of a similar age group find a classroom boring but are obligated to attend it. If a playful activity is added as a learning method, children will have an intrinsic desire to learn and hence would learn better. Correlations between motivation and academic achievement have been found to be highly positive.
- They promote creativity as they let the child learn in an independent and experiential manner by breaking the barriers of conventional teaching.
Activities for learning place value in an interesting way
Here are some activities for enhancing the place value skills for children in their early years of learning. These activities are fun and enjoyable and can be administered in classrooms or homes.
1. Place Value Bingo
Everyone in the classroom could make 3×3 bingo cards involving two-digit numbers. Children could be asked to make their own bingos, or the facilitator could prepare them beforehand and distribute them to the children. Once everyone has their bingos, the facilitator can call out number clues randomly such as “ any number with 5 in the ones place” or “any number with no tens.” The first child to cross out the full bingo can call out numbers next.
This activity will help children identify which number represents which value according to its place. It is a quite simple activity and can be administered to children who have just been introduced to the concept. A healthy competitive environment will be created and the children will be super attentive, eagerly waiting to cross out the numbers on their bingos.
2. It’s Your Birthday!
In this activity, children can be divided into pairs of two. The idea is to have them interact with their partners and find out their birth date. They could just focus on the day and the month and leave the year. Once they know the birthdate of their partners, children can be asked to make the number with base blocks.
For example , If a child’s birth date is 31/7, they could represent 3 as tens with base-10 blocks and one base 1 block. For representing month, 7, the child could use base-1 blocks and place 7 blocks next to the 31. The facilitator must check and appreciate the child’s work.
This activity will make a clear visual idea in the children’s minds about how a digit represents tens and ones. It would also facilitate classroom and peer interaction.
3. Flash Cards
For administering this, the teacher could prepare flash cards with random two-digit numbers. The children could be divided into groups and be given a bunch of flash cards. Then, they could be instructed on how to do the activity. Turn by turn, one person in each group could hold the flash card in a manner that the number is not visible to the person holding it. They could hold it by showing the front to the group and back to themselves.
Now, the children in the group have to loudly say the number in the form of the value they are representing. For example, if the flash card says 39, they have to say 3 tens and 9 ones. After that, the child to whom the flash card is not visible will guess the number in ten seconds, here, by saying thirty-nine loudly and quickly.
This can be a very fun activity and can reinforce the concept of tens and ones very well. It will make the children learn in an automatic manner without them even realizing that they are being taught.
4. Stack Place Value Cheerio towers
In this activity, the children would require clay, uncooked spaghetti, and some cheerios. The idea is to embed the 2 spaghettis in a piece of clay to make it look like an abacus stick. Now, Ask the children to label the one on the right as tens and the other on the left as ones. Make a bowl of chits with different, random two-digit numbers and let the children pick. Whatever number the children pick, they have to represent it on their clay-spaghetti abacus by stacking cheerios on them.
For example , the number is 57. The child is supposed to stack 5 cheerios on the spaghetti that represents tens and 7 on the one that represents ones. This can be repeated a few times.
Children will learn how to break a number into tens and ones and it would enhance their skills of understanding and identifying the place values represented by various digits in a number.
5. Figure out the Place Value of your Name
In this activity, the children will use base blocks of tens and ones to spell their names. Provide the children with base 10 blocks and base 1 block. Now, ask them to try and spell their name with the blocks. For example, ALEX can be spelled starting with 2 bases 10 blocks forming the A, and the one block in the middle joining the two triangular sides.
Demonstrate the activity to the children by using your own name. Once the children have spelled out their name, ask them to count up the numbers of tens and ones blocks to determine the place value of their name. In the given example it could be A= 2 tens and 3 ones that is 23.
In this activity, the children will be able to think in a slightly critical manner and it will help them strengthen their concept of place value further from just numbers.
Place value: A far-reaching concept?
Place value, as discussed earlier, is a fundamentally essential concept. It is vital that all children learn early in their educational journeys because not only does it serve as a foundation for mathematical problems, but it is also something that is required to lead a normal life independently. It moves further from the classroom and has its own underlying applications in the real world.
It is required to pay bills and understand weight, time, distance, dates, and most general aspects of life. Without understanding place values, it would be difficult to make the most common decisions in everyday life, such as waking up at a particular time, planning an event for a day in the future, or even paying for a bar of chocolate.
Place value is a key concept that every child should learn in their initial years of learning. It is needed for the arithmetics they will learn in their educational years. More than that, it is a concept that will be required at some point or the other to understand various, general and common life aspects on a daily basis.
In their early years, children do find it tough to grasp the concept and get familiar with it. The activities based on place value concepts can make this task easier and more enjoyable for children. Activities that are used for the purpose of learning create stimulation, motivation, and prime creativity in the learning environment. They also help retention for a longer time and in a more concrete manner as the mode of learning is stress-free and engaging. Place value is not just an academic concept. It goes beyond that and is vital for children to grasp and apply in various life situations as well.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,
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10 Simple Place Value Games (KS1 & KS2) To Make Your Maths Lessons Fun And Effective
At the start of the new academic year, many of us are on the look out for some new place value games and activities for those first KS1 and KS2 maths lessons.
But these sorts of place value games are no good unless they’re actually effective at moving pupils’ knowledge of place value forward. After all, place value as we all know is the foundation stone of the rest of the KS1 and KS2 maths curriculum.
Place Value Game #1: Sorting and Matching
Place value game #2: odd one out, place value game #3: classroom birthdays, place value game #4: the ten-sided dice rounding game, place value game #5: it’s time to use the hula hoops, place value game #6: line-up, place value game #7: passing practice, place value game #8: football kit – roman numeral swaps, place value game #9: delightful darts, place value game #10: round the dice.
So, Third Space Learning is here to help.
Here are 10 of our favourite fun place value maths games and activities (KS1 & KS2), whether your pupils are at the early stage of understanding place value in Year 1 or moving on to positive and negative numbers in Year 6. (We even cover Roman Numerals!)
They also make use of many different manipulatives and ideas to give a bit more variety, beyond just using arrow cards or base ten blocks.
They’re all extremely simple to explain and manage in class and most can be adapted as appropriate to your year group. We’ve included a free place value printable download of all the games to save time.
We also have a collection of free place value worksheets for you to use with your class – not every lesson can be a game after all!
Free Download - Place Value Games
This free PDF is packed with the games discussed in this blog and presented in and easy to read (and share) format! All of the games are in here, so all that is left for you to do is download and play!
This sorting and matching place value activity is perfect for KS1 pupils, particularly Year 1.
It’s always good to start off with maths manipulatives to introduce any unit of work – and this one is no different!
The first step is to dig the multi-link cubes out of the cupboard, and after this, ask the children to make sticks of cubes of varying length – from one cube up to ten cubes long. You can then ask the children to arrange the sticks from smallest to largest.
Next, ask the children to step back from the table. Jumble up the sticks and mix in some Numicon shapes (or bags with varying amounts of counters/dienes in them).
Now, it’s time for the children to match the various representations of numbers with its corresponding mathematical representation. You could ask them to do this, or simply tell them to match the various objects as they wish (they might match a stick of six green multi-link cubes with the Numicon shape for eight, because they’re both green).
Depending on how your pupils group the various objects will give you a good indication of any gaps in maths that may need to be filled.
Place value activities – Extension task for Sorting and Matching
To really test the children you could ask them to then sort the numbers into two groups: odd numbers and even numbers. (Using numicon shapes makes it much easier for children to visualise and identify odd numbers.)
This KS1 place value game is great for Year 2 but should be played with some tact, especially with younger pupils!
Firstly, arrange the children into groups of various sizes – a group of four, a group of five, a group of seven, a group of eight…
Ask them to count how many people are in their group, and then count how many people are in the other groups too.
Next, ask each group to sit down in a line in pairs (you could make it a race – which group can sit down the quickest?). Ask the children: can you notice a problem for any of our groups’ lines?
Then ask the children to count out the number of children in the groups that have an ‘odd one out’. Hopefully they will notice that the groups of four, six and eight are sat in perfect pairs, but the groups of three, five and seven have an extra person each time. You could reinforce the point by representing the number in each group with a Numicon shape.
This is a simple yet effective Year 1/Year 2 interactive place value game, giving pupils a chance to interact with their classmates whilst learning.
Looking for fun games to boost pupils’ learning? We’ve got several articles sharing teacher approved maths activities and fun maths games , including KS2 maths games , KS1 maths games and KS3 maths games for all maths topics and a set of 35 times tables games and multiplication games you’ll want to bookmark whichever year group you teach!
A number most, if not all, children manage to remember, birthdays are an obvious cue for more place value activities , especially those that ask pupils to order numbers.
This activity begins by splitting the class into equal groups or teams. Start by asking the children which month they were born in and equating that month to its number value: January is 1, February is 2 and so on.
Then ask the children to tell the other people in their group when they were born – they could even write out their date of birth in its numerical form. For example, 1/11/2015. You could ask the children to group themselves into children who were born in an odd-numbered year and even-numbered year, odd-numbered months and even-numbered months, then on odd-numbered days and even-numbered days. Depending on the depth you are going into with regards to properties of number with your class, they could organise themselves into those whose months or day numbers fall into certain times tables, or other number properties, like square, cube or prime numbers. Next, you could get the groups to organise themselves in age order, from youngest to oldest (call it a race to speed them up). Then, finally have the whole class come together and – using the knowledge from each group – sort themselves into age order!
This is one place value game that will be relevant year after year and can be used across primary school in KS1 and KS2!
This sort of simple dice-based place value game is great for Year 1, and can be modified and extended for use with older KS1 and KS2 pupils.
If you don’t already have ten-sided dice it could be a smart purchase as they can be handy at different points throughout the year (especially for random number generation).
The first step in this place-value activity is to split the children into pairs or triplets.
If they’re in a pair, one child gets a point each time 1, 2, 3, 4 or 10 is rolled (as they’re the ‘rounding down’ person), the other child gets a point each time 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 is rolled (they’ll be the ‘rounding up’ person).
If there are three children instead of two, the third can be the score-keeper or referee and then they can rotate the roles.
Have the children roll the die and write down each time someone gets a point. Do this ten times; get the most and you’ve won.
The following lower Key Stage 2 activity could be used as a Year 3 or Year 4 place value starter, an active maths break, or a fantastic warm-up at the beginning of a PE session. Split the class into teams of ten. Give each child a post-it note displaying the number they will represent.
On each side of the classroom, PE hall or playground, set up three or four hula hoops for each team. Each hoop will represent a place value column: thousands, hundreds, tens and ones.
Give the children a spoken instruction. For example: Show me 359. The children then race to make the correct number (i.e. 359 in this case) quicker than the other team(s).
Hula hoop place value activity – Extension task
For an extra challenge, increase the hoops and complexity of the columns – both whole numbers and decimals. Once children are comfortable with three-digit numbers, you could introduce 4-digit numbers, for example.
For differentiation purposes, you could choose to use a more confident mathematician as a coach/captain, sat in place representing the decimal point.
This is the perfect place value game for Year 3, Year 2 or Year 1 pupils as everyone gets a chance to join in.
Purely for organisational purposes this place value game is likely best for Year 4, 5 or 6.
For the next activity, we suggest starting by splitting teams into equal groups. The next thing to do is to stick a post-it note with a number on the back of each child.
The children will need to read the number that each of their teammates has on their back to the rest of their group, until everyone knows what is written on their post-it note. You could alternate between numerical representations and numbers written out in their worded form.
Then, it is a race as a team to organise themselves in a number line from smallest to largest, according to the numbers they have been assigned.
You can enlarge the teams or use more and larger numbers to add extra challenge. We love this idea for ordering, so expect to see variations of it cropping up in other blog posts!
Best for Year 2 or 3, and especially good for the sort of stealthy outdoor maths activity you can sneak in as part of a PE or general outdoors session.
Using cones from the PE cupboard, set up two or more sets of three goals. Each goal will only need two cones – each cone being a goal post – and each goal will represent a place value column: ones, tens, hundreds…)
Now give each group or team a number to achieve. For example, if the given number is 385, they would need to pass the ball through the ones goal five times, then the tens goal eight times and, finally, the hundreds goal three times.
Again, the game could be easily turned into a competition by pitting teams against each other to add some pace. It is also very easily adaptable; 2-digit numbers could be used with less able pupils, 3-digit numbers with more able pupils and so on.
We’ve done the hard work for you on this one and created some templates for this printable place value game for Year 6
T ake a look below for the football kit templates with shirt numbers in Roman Numeral format. (If you have a class with split footballing loyalties, there is always the option to get them to colour in the shirts in their favourite teams’ colours.) We’ve left a few empty shirts for you to use as you wish!
One child should be holding the Roman Numeral football kit cards, the other should have cards or pieces of paper with a member of their favourite football team’s squad on each card or piece of paper.
For this example we will use the heroic England squad from the 2018 World Cup. (Keen to relive those days? Take a look at our World Cup Maths Activities .)
The task here is for children to swap or match each Roman Numeral card with a player’s card with the corresponding squad number. You could challenge pairs or groups of children to match their cards, then order them from smallest to largest the fastest! (You could extend the task by asking the children to sort them in other ways too: odds and evens; square numbers; prime numbers; cube numbers.)
We recommend a magnetic dart board for this place value game for upper KS2; of course it works as well with real darts but they bring their own challenges to a group of Year 5 and Year 6.
The range of place value challenges you can set with a dart board – real or printable – are almost limitless. It’s also a great way to practise other number facts and mental maths strategies or when teaching times tables .
Here are some ideas:
- You could ask the children to work their way around the game board in either an ascending or descending order.
- You could set them individual challenges: your next dart must have an odd value; your next throw must have a single digit value; your next throw must stick in a two-digit value area; your next throw must end in a prime number value area or have the factors 4 and 8.
It’s also a great opportunity for the children to practice their mental addition skills, two and three times tables – they need to be able to multiply by three to hit the magic 180!
Another simple dice-based place value game about rounding numbers, this time tailored towards Year 2 and up! Children can roll the dice and record results as many times as you decide, but we recommend 5 or 10 rolls.
Pair off the class and provide each pair with their own pair of dice.
Children should roll the dice and see which two numbers land face up e.g. 3 and 5. From these two single digits, they can make two double digit numbers – in this case 35 and 53.
Have the children record their rolls, the resulting double digit numbers and what they round to, then have them roll again.
Some key questions:
- What numbers can you make?
- Will the two digit numbers round up or down?
- EXTENSION: Will any pair of double digit numbers ever round to the same multiple of ten (e.g. both round to 30). When does this happen?
More place value games and activit y ideas
All of the place value games above can be adapted to suit the ages and abilities of children in your class. And by using them as a way into the subject, you’ll find your pupils will be better able to create links between abstract numbers and real world scenarios.
Place value confidence is a crucial step in helping children to visualise number more clearly and partition mentally with greater success, as well as laying the foundations for improving mental strategies increasing the speed of mental calculations too.
It’s no surprise that our place value lessons are always the most popular starting point teachers choose for pupils receiving our online maths tuition and many of the primary maths strategies we use start with embedding this concept.
If you’re teaching place value to Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 or Year 6 this year, you’ll want to read our new Guide To Teaching Place Value At KS2 – it breaks down step by step the theory and practice of achieving mastery in this foundational concept.
- The Best Multiplication Games To Play At KS1 & KS2 For Classroom Engagement
- How To Teach Place Value in Year 5 and 6 For Small Group KS2 Interventions
- The Best Place Value Grid Ever : Your Printable Place Value Chart For KS1 and KS2 (With Decimals!)
- Guide to Place Value Learning Objectives in the KS1 and KS2 National Curriculum
- For Year 5 and Year 6: 75 SATs style questions on Place Value, Fractions, Addition and Subtraction
- What is Place Value? Explained for Parents and Children
Do you have pupils who need extra support in maths? Every week Third Space Learning’s maths specialist tutors support thousands of pupils across hundreds of schools with weekly online 1-to-1 lessons and maths interventions designed to plug gaps and boost progress. Since 2013 we’ve helped over 150,000 primary and secondary school pupils become more confident, able mathematicians. Learn more or request a personalised quote for your school to speak to us about your school’s needs and how we can help.
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FREE Place Value Ready-to-go Lessons & Worksheets (Years 1 to 6)
Use these Ready-to-go PowerPoints and worksheets to teach your Year 1 to Year 6 children place value following the White Rose scheme of learning.
The PowerPoints are fully editable to allow you to adapt the learning to your class and are designed to be SEND friendly with an off-white background and dyslexia friendly font.
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Place Value Activities to 100 PowerPoint
Subject: Maths for early years
Age range: 5-7
Resource type: Game/puzzle/quiz
27 September 2023
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This place value up to 99 resource includes two games. There are 20 slides in game 1 and 15 slides in game 2. This resource includes total 35 interactive slides. These games are fun and self checking. Students will get immediate feedback.
File Type These are PowerPoint games and you can use it on any device. You must have PowerPoint to use these files.
IPad Instructions Here are few steps to play this game on IPad:
- Make sure you have Free PowerPoint App on your IPad.
- Unzip the folder on your computer and uploading the games to google drive.
- To open the file on IPad, go to your google drive then hold down on game file and it will pop up with “open with” and then click PPT.
By following the above steps you will be able to play this game. If you have still any problem feel free to contact me at [email protected] with your concerns!
Tes paid licence How can I reuse this?
Get this resource as part of a bundle and save up to 22%
A bundle is a package of resources grouped together to teach a particular topic, or a series of lessons, in one place.
Tens and Ones Place Value Activities Math PowerPoint Games Bundle
This bundle consists of two resources for place value PowerPoint games. These games are both entertaining and have built-in self-checking features. Students will receive instant feedback on their answers. You can also take a look at the preview before making a purchase. **What comes in the bundle?** Place Value 1-30 PowerPoint Game Place Value to 99 PowerPoint Game **File Type** These are PowerPoint games and you can use it on any device. You must have PowerPoint to use these files. **IPad Instructions** Here are few steps to play this game on IPad: 1. Make sure you have Free PowerPoint App on your IPad. 2. Unzip the folder on your computer and uploading the games to google drive. 3. To open the file on IPad, go to your google drive then hold down on game file and it will pop up with "open with" and then click PPT. If you're still having trouble, don't hesitate to email me at [email protected] with your questions!
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K-5 Math Centers
K-5 math ideas, 3rd grade math, need help organizing your k-5 math block, 3 super tips for teaching place value.
Here’s the understatement of the year: teaching place value is kind of a big deal! From kindergarten through 5th grade, “Numbers and Operations in Base Ten” shows up in the common core math standards like clockwork.
The task of “understanding place value” grows in complexity every year and really ramps up starting in 3rd grade. Students are expected to learn how to “fluently add and subtract within 1000” using number-sense strategies based on place value. This 3-digit math strategy can feel uncomfortably like the big leagues for kids struggling with place value. So I’m going to share:
Before I share 3 tips, let’s build some background. Students as early as kindergarten and 1st grade come to school knowing things about two digit numbers like how to verbally count from 10 to 100 and counting objects within 15 or 20.
However, their understanding of numbers is pretty different from ours in that it’s based on a counting by ones approach. So they typically count one thing at a time and don’t readily understand the connection between a number and the groups of tens and ones.
For example, if we ask a student how many tens are in 67. They may say 6 in the tens place because they simply name the position with little understanding of it. But they may not understand that 6 represents 6 groups of ten things and 7 represents 7 single things. Understanding that a group of ten can represent a single entity is a huge shift!
Students tend to struggle because understanding place value is anything but simple. It’s all a big puzzle where three big pieces or connections should be made.
3 Key Connections to Building Place Value
The first key is understanding base-ten concepts in order to represent numbers visually. While many teachers may provide students opportunities to represent numbers using standard groupings, it’s equally as important for students to represent numbers using equivalent groupings. I consider this to be the keystone of place value.
Students should also be able to articulate numbers in their oral forms, whether they’re standard (“seventy-two”) or base-ten (“7 tens and 2 ones”).
Finally, students have to understand how to read and write numerals. Making these three connections hinges on utilizing different counting strategies in practice: counting by ones, counting by groups and singles, and counting by tens and ones.
See how all of this works together? If students miss one piece, then it would be challenging for them to have a full understanding of place-value. That’s why giving kids the right tools to understand the place value system is so important.
Here are a few tips that develop place value:
Tip #1: Use place value mats to make reading and writing numbers easier
Yes, manipulatives are great for moving students from concrete understanding to abstract. Place value mats work nicely with manipulatives by helping to drive abstract concepts home.
Help struggling learners by making learning hands-on and visual. That means using manipulatives like base-ten blocks. Base-ten blocks are the best tool on the block – pun intended. A great thing about base-ten blocks are the versatility to build whole numbers or decimals.
With the unit block representing one, allow students time to explore the relationship between the units (small block) and rods as well as the rods and a flat on a place value mat. Exploring these relationships support the 10- to- 1 relationship of place value including: 10 units equal 1 ten, 10 tens equal 1 hundred and so on.
Warning : Base ten blocks are all about relationships. Each block can represent different amounts depending on how they’re used. Don’t make your kids think that each block can ONLY represent one thing. For example, when using base ten blocks to represent decimals, the flat may represent 1 and the smallest block may represent 1 hundredth. When talking to kids, I find it easy to use the phrase: In this situation __________ represents __________.
Now let’s talk place value charts. Create simple place value charts that are reusable by including a place for hundreds, tens, and ones. This layout mimics the way the number is written from left to right. In the ones section, ensure that there are two ten-frames to promote the concept of a group of ten and eliminate the need for one-by-one counting. Ten frames also help students visualize how many more units are needed to make a complete set of ten.
Also give students time to represent a number using standard groupings and equivalent groupings. For example, the numeral 49 can be represented in standard form as 4 tens and 9 ones.
As well use equivalent groupings of 49 to show 3 tens and 19 ones. Without these types of experiences kids really struggle understanding that both values are equivalent.
Tip #2: Provide Opportunities to Count by Groups of 10’s and 100’s
You may have kids in 2nd and 3rd grade that continue to count things by ones instead of groupings things by 10. Grouping by 10’s is important because it’s mentally easier to count plus our number system is based on 10’s! Since we want to foster students ability to count by 10’s (not impose it on them) check out these 2 helpful activities.
The Crayon Counting Challenge
Gather your students in a circle. Find a collection of crayons (or any countable items ranging from 25 to 100) and spill them out in the middle of the circle. Ask students, “How could we can count these crayons in a way that’s easier than counting by ones?” Test out any of the counting suggestions that students give (ie. if they say count by 3’s then group and count the crayons by threes until you can’t make any more groups of 3).
After testing different strategies have a discussion on what worked well and what didn’t work so well. If no one suggests the idea of counting by 10’s, suggest it to the group and discuss how it worked in comparison to the other counting suggestions. Students typically discover that counting by 5’s or 10’s is the easiest method to group and count items.
The Classroom Estimation Activity
Create an estimation jar in your class. Fill a durable, clear plastic jar with 200 to 1000 items. Items like tiny erasers, beans or paper clips work well and are pretty inexpensive.
First give all students an opportunity to write down their estimates of the number of items in the jar. For example below, every student would record the number of erasers they believe are in the jar. After students arrive at their estimates have a class discussion about strategies they used to arrive at their recorded amount.
Next pour out all the items (ie. erasers) into several cups.
Group students in pairs and provide them with a cup to count and group the items 10 at a time.
After students have grouped all items into 10’s, place all of the groups in front of the class and ask the following questions:
- How can we use the cups of 10 to tell how many we have altogether?
- Can we make new groups using the groups of ten? What new groups can we form?
- How many are in each new group?
After the class discussion provide larger containers for the new groups. For example, students may form new groups of 50 or 100 by combining 5 cups of 10 erasers into one container of 50. Make sure that you have large enough containers for the new groups (ie. 50 erasers in each new group) and label each new group.
Once all of the new groups are formed, count the hundreds, tens and ones separately. Record the total number of items (erasers) on a sheet of paper and discuss how their estimates were similar to or different from the actual number counted.
Tip #3: Use a daily place value warm-up to build confidence
Another great strategy for reinforcing place value is a daily warm-up, especially if it incorporates math talk. Since place value and base 10 understanding are the basis of our number system, it’s important that students get plenty of practice.
You’ve probably heard that people need to do something for 30 days to make it a habit. The same holds true for kids. To help your students master place value, I’ve created a 30 day warm- up routine . This routine engages your class in meaningful math discussions while building place value understanding within 1000.
Each day, project one math talk lesson onto your interactive whiteboard. Students will complete 4 daily questions. With 3 levels and 10 math talk activities included in each level, you’ll have 30 days of place value learning.
Level A: Beginner
Includes 10 math talks with:
- 4 basic questions
- 10 more and 10 less
- Understanding base-ten models
- Comparing the value of a given digit to another
Level B: Intermediate
- 4 intermediate questions
- Place value reasoning
- Adding or subtracting multiples of ten
- Comparing values
- Plus 1 additional BONUS question
Level C: Advanced
- 4 challenging questions
- Understanding the value of a given digit
- Applying place value understanding
- Plotting numbers on number line
Take your student understanding of place value to the next level using this routine. Click on the image below to purchase.
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Place Value Routine
This math routine builds place value understanding in 30 days! Students answer 4 daily questions to build number sense within 1,000.
Early grade students come to school counting by ones but the shift to more efficient strategies is necessary (especially when understanding larger numbers). Spending time in the early years grouping 10’s and 100’s, representing numbers in standard and equivalent groupings as well as reading and writing numbers will definitely help cement place value understanding.
I hope these tips help you foster a strong place value foundation in your students.
Full Citation of Place Value Mat & Place Value Relational Chart – Van De Walle, J., Karp, K.S., & Bay Williams J.M. (2010). Elementary and Middle School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally (7th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon
- Read more about: K-5 Math Ideas
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7 Engaging and Fun Place Value Activities to increase Student Success
Teaching place value can sometimes prove to be a difficult task. Children are concrete learners, and place value is much more abstract. As teachers, we must find ways to make the abstract concepts of math something our students can understand and connect too. Over the years I've tried lots of different place value activities with varying levels of success. Today I'm excited to share some of my favorite place value activities that find their way into my classroom year after year.
Teaching Place Value
Fun place value activities students love.
2. Learning With Songs
3. hands-on fun.
Daily Place Value Practice
- Even or odd
- Hundreds, tens, and ones
- Skip counting
- Adding and subtracting
- Drawing place value using blocks or sticks
- 1, 10, and 100 more and less
Digital Place Value Activities
Color by Place Value
- standard form
- expanded form
Math and Art
Place Value is Fun!
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Quick and Easy Place Value Activities (Try These to Boost Number Sense!)
- By Shelley Gray
- November 3, 2021
- No Comments
Do you wish you had a way to easily spiral place value skills throughout the year – so your students continue to boost their understanding even after your place value unit is complete? Mystery Numbers place value activities are designed to do just that.
“My students look forward to mystery number each week. We are using it remotely as a way to start our Math thinking. I share the list of numbers with students and then we go through the clues together. I am proud to say my students have been beginning to predict what clue might come next based one the numbers left. It was been so very engaging for them. I look forward to continue using this even when we return in person.” – Karen
Mystery Numbers: Quick and Easy Place Value Activities
To complete a mystery number activity, students read a clue and use that clue to eliminate one or more of the numbers. This continues until there is just one number left. The clues involve essential skills like place value, odd/even, rounding , greater than/less than, and more. This is a great way for students to use their knowledge in a meaningful way.
“This was a great way to get my students to really think about numbers. They loved making their guesses and then being able to change their guess as they received new information. I used it as an informal assessment of their understanding of place value.” -Ruth
Mystery Numbers Make Differentiation Easy
Mystery Numbers are ideal for differentiation. Because you can choose from 2-digit, 3-digit, 4-digit, 5-digit, fractions, and decimals, there is something for every ability level…and students don’t need to know that their work is any different from someone else’s. This allows you to truly meet the needs of your students. For example, in your classroom you might have a few students working on 2-digit mystery numbers, while you work in a small group on some 4-digit mystery numbers. Students that are ready for something more challenging may even be working on fraction mystery number activities!
“LOVE these! They are really wonderful for boosting number sense, having students apply their thinking and making students read the questions/clues carefully!!” -Hayley
Because Mystery Numbers are available in both print and digital format, they can be used in the classroom or from home. If you choose to use the PDF versions in your classroom, you may also choose to put them inside plastic sheet protectors to save on paper.
Mystery Numbers are fantastic for many uses in the classroom. They’re a quick and easy way to reinforce place value skills all through the year. Here are how some teachers use them:
- as a 5-minute time filler or math warm-up
- to get kids excited about math at the beginning of math class
- as a pre or post assessment of place value skills
- as an early finisher activity
- to inspire students to try writing their own mystery number activities (fantastic for critical thinking!)
“I love these especially for getting my students’ minds ready for math. They’re so engaged trying to figure out the mystery number not realizing that they’re using (and learning) key vocabulary terms and concepts.” -Patricia
If you’d like to try Mystery Number place value activities in your classroom, here are the links to get started:
2-Digit Mystery Numbers
3-Digit Mystery Numbers
4-Digit Mystery Numbers
5-Digit Mystery Numbers
Decimal Mystery Numbers
Fraction Mystery Numbers
Or see the entire Mystery Bundle (and make it easy to differentiate to all your students) HERE.
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