Can you ever do enough activities to reinforce place value?
Even teaching 4th grade, I have an amazing amount of kids that come to me every year without understanding place value. And the scary part is, it seems to be getting worse!! Anyone else?! This lack of fundamental understanding makes everything we do in math class more difficult. Pile on top of that, the lack of mathematical vocabulary and it's an absolute mess. So, what do I do to combat this mathematical nightmare? We place a lot of Place Value Parade.
Place Value Parade is very simple and the kids LOVE it. It helps kids build their math vocabulary, master place value, and improves listening skills.
First, make copies of the Place Value Parade sheet on card stock. You can choose to laminate if you want, but I find it works just as well on thick paper.
Now, you are ready to begin. It is time to build numbers. Give them clues that fill in one digit at a time.
Try these clues below to build your own number. Ready, set, go...
Mystery Number 1:
- The digit in the tens place is double the number 4.
- The digit in the ten thousands place is half of 10.
- There are no hundreds.
- The digit in the millions place is the difference between the digit in the tens and the digit in the ten thousands.
- The digit in the ones place is 3 times more than 2.
- The digit in the thousands place is greater than 8.
- The last digit you need is the sum of the millions and the hundreds.
Mystery Number 2:
- The digit in the millions place is a product of 3 and 2.
- The digit in the ones place is half the digit in the millions place.
- The digit in the thousands place is the sum of the digits you have used.
- The digit is in the hundreds place is five.
- The digit in the hundred thousands place is the difference between the hundreds and the thousands.
- The digit in the tens place is the sum of the ones and the hundred thousands place.
- The digit in the ten thousands place is the only odd digit you have not used yet.
After building the number, we then read the number together. Write it in expanded or word form. Discuss the value of each digit. Etc.
My kids think it is great fun to listen to the clues and figure out the mystery number. We check each digit before reading the number aloud and you will hear the whole class go "Yesss!!" after we call each digit. They are so proud.
Your clues can be anything from simple to very complex. Use as much math vocabulary as possible. (greater than, less than, sum, difference, double, half, more than, less than, even, odd, product, quotient, etc.)
I started pretty easy, but soon found out that I could get quite complicated. The best part is that my students are no longer stumped when they see some of these math words on tests.
My students keep their digit cards in a plastic bag and the place value frame in their math folder. We used them for a week solid and now pull them out about once a week. The kids still love building numbers and are ready to start writing clues for their own mystery numbers.
Of course, you can do this very same activity on white boards or notebook paper. I like the tactile model I showed you above, but it's completely up to you. If you would like a copy of my Place Value Parade, click here or on the image below to download it FREE from my TN store.