### 5 Activities for Teaching Place Value

I'm back with an all new "5 Activities for Teachingpost (click the link for more 5 Activity Ideas).  This one is all about Place Value.  Like many of you, I always like to start my math year with Place Value.  This post aims to take you past the traditional hands-on activities that students need like building and exchanging numbers using base 10 blocks, and hopefully gives you some new ideas to add to your collection.

1.  Interactive Math Journals - I always like to introduce new math concepts with an entry or two in our Interactive Math Journals.  I've got some fun ideas here on my blog that you can read some more about.  This one is from my original Interactive Math Journal.  Students identify the place value column of the highlighted digit.  You can see it HERE.

Another math journal idea is from my Interactive Math Journal 2.  This one has students identifying the place value columns from billions all the way up to the billions column.  You can read more about it HERE.

2.  Cup-Stacking Place Value Game - This one is SO much fun!  You need styrofoam cups (or any cups with a lip so you can write a digit on the lip).  Label each cup with a digit from 0-9 (I used a sharpie for this, and I wrote the digit on both sides of the lip).  Repeat for the number of cups you have.  The number of cups you need depend on the number of students playing, and how high you wish your numbers to go.  For a group of 3, playing to the hundred thousands, you will need 18 cups.  (I bought a pack of 20 at the dollar store).  To work with numbers in the billions, students would build a pyramid with 10 cups.

As quickly as they can they need to stack 6 random cups in a pyramid, then collapse the pyramid so they have a stack of 6 cups.  The first person to read the 6 digit number the stack makes, wins.  To get all participating and keep the motivation going, you can give the first person 2 points, and everyone else in the group that reads their number correctly 1 point.  Or, you can simply make this a math station without any points at all.  :)  Take a peek at this video to see how we play it.

3.  Math Stations - Dice, cards, dominos ... all of these manipulatives are great for building numbers to have students work with place value.  I have a fun package of math station sheets for place value that use dice - whole numbers and decimals are included (US and Canadian versions are both included in the resource).  With this Rolling Place Value resource, students will be working with standard, written, and expanded form of numbers.
To use less paper, I bought these great dry-erase pockets at Amazon.  LOVE them.  Just slide the sheet inside, and let the students work.  I'll include an affiliate link to Amazon at the bottom of this post.  If you want to take a peek at this Rolling Place Value Resource, click HERE.

I also have a similar resource for rounding - including numbers from millions to thousandths on individual sheets so you can easily differentiate for your students.  Students will also compare and order the numbers they made.  To see this Rolling with Rounding Resource, click HERE.  Each of these two "rolling" resources include an extra page that students can complete and hand in for a formative assessment.
4.  Place Value Scavenger Hunt - I've got a fun little freebie to share with you.  This Place Value Scavenger Hunt has students hunting for numbers - around the school, in a newspaper or magazine, online ... wherever you choose to have your students look.  I'm planning on having my students work in groups, giving each group an iPad.  When they find one of the numbers on their scavenger hunt, they can take a picture of it on the iPad.  At the end of the activity, they will go through their gallery, showing the 15 pictures.  To grab a free copy for your classroom, just click HERE.

5.  Place Value Math Circle - This Place Value math circle is always a hit in my classroom because it gets us up and moving, and really exploring numbers.  It is especially beneficial for the kinesthetic learners in the classroom.  This math circle is similar to my drama circles in that everyone gets a card with a direction to follow.  Each student is given a digit from 0-9, there is a decimal for someone to wear as well.  Once everyone is wearing their digit, the first person reads the instruction on the card and builds the number using people in the class.  For example, in the picture below, the card said, "Use 5 people to build a number with a 2 in the ten thousands place, 4 in the thousands place, 9 in the hundreds place, 6 in the tens place, and 3 in the ones place.  Read the number aloud."  I have both a US version and a Canadian version available.

1. You are just so creative! I can't wait to do the cup stacking in class tomorrow!!!

2. Such fun activities to reinforce place value. I can't wait to share them with my students.

3. Thank you for sharing all of this...I can't wait to try the cup stacking idea when we head back to school!

4. Cup Stacking Game looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing.

5. Great ideas for enforcing place value.. I am teaching grade 2/3 .. so we will just go to hundreds.. but both of these ideas will still work

6. Some really great ideas!!! Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to try the scavenger hunt and the cup stacking idea straight away!

7. Thanks for posting these great ideas!