Place value--a huge topic, and such an important concept for ALL ages!

As a second grade teacher, place value is at the heart of much of our explorations in math throughout the year. Since I cannot possibly put everything I feel to be important about place value into this post, I will focus on some MUSTs in helping my students understand place value and build a solid foundation for what will follow.

**THE POWER OF 10!**

We as teachers know the power of 10 in our number system and how an understanding of 10 is a ESSENTIAL for building an understanding of hundreds, thousands, and so on. I make a point of mentioning the power of 10 to my students DAILY! Any chance I get, I recite the words, "Ha--the POWER of 10!" in a sinister witch-like cackle. They always chime in afterward! :0) In the beginning of the year, it's a mixed bag as far as students' understanding that 237 has 23 tens and that 23 tens is the same as 230. I like to use various prompts for students to agree or disagree with that require their use of 10. Here is a picture of our Bright Ideas board and the first math prompt I gave this year (the board is used for all content areas). You can see the diversity of understanding with some thumbs being in the middle to show an inability to decide. Prompts such as these bring with them wonderful discussions and students must justify their thinking.

**PLACE VALUE TOOLS!**

When I say tools, I mean beans, linking cubes, straws, ten frames, base ten tools, place value arrows, place value discs, an open number line, etc. Representing numbers in multiple ways is a MUST!

At the same time, I feel it is also important for students to understand the power of different tools as well as their limitations. An example--from the very first day of school, we do Daily Math (includes a number of the day) as a large group (this eventually leads to work in guided math rotations). We begin with two digit numbers and eventually progress to three digit numbers. In the beginning we use ten frame tools (small individual ten frames) to represent numbers. The ten frame is a familiar tool used in kindergarten and first grade, so this is a great place to begin. As we venture into representing greater numbers, students begin to understand the limitation of using ten frames for representing and drawing ten frame models. The tools become less efficient/appropriate in this way, so a different tool is introduced (base ten tools). We talk about each tool, their benefits and drawbacks. We NEVER say a tool is BAD---or that it is WRONG to use a particular tool, but I feel it is important for students to understand the differences between tools and their effectiveness/applications. Furthermore, I never begin using a tool with students, such as base ten tools or place value discs, unless they have a conceptual understanding of each disc's value.

Tools are ALWAYS readily available for students to use during guide math rotations--they never need to ask for permission. Tools are also housed in our guided math area for easy access during small guided math groups. Please enjoy the following freebie tools that are posted under

*on our navigation bar. In addition, I have shared an open number line post from our other blog,*

**Workstations & Games****, that you may be interested in. Enjoy!**

*Hoots N' Hollers***A Powerful Tool: The Open Number Line**

**PLEASE NOTE: Courtney will be sharing a new place value tool she has just added to her classroom. Look for her post about Digiblocks in the near future!**

**TALK IT!**

When I say "talk it" I mean constantly talking about numbers as a composition of digits that have value. When we add 36 and 45, we are adding 3 tens and 4 tens--6 ones and 5 ones. We talk it! This eventually leads to reciting our addition of place values or composing/decomposing when mentally adding . As a kid, this is one thing that was never done, at least to my recollection. The algorithm was the focus, and an understanding of place value and talking about digits and their values was not at the forefront. Undoubtedly, there were those that understood what was going on when using addition and subtraction algorithms at a young age, but for those of us who struggled there was a lack of conceptual understanding beyond the steps we took to solve.

One thing I require in all place value game play is the use of callouts so that students are continually focusing on the value of each digit in a number.

**Feel free to download this fun place value game that my students play--**Hope your kids enjoy it as much as mine have over the years!

*More, Less, or Trade?*.**INDEPENDENT PRACTICE!**

I provide LOTS of independent place value practice for my students during guided math rotations. Workstation games and activities are cycled throughout the year. Place value cube activities are one of their favorites. I have included a link where you can learn about the use of place value cubes and download directions for making your own. There are so many possibilities for using these little buggers!

I hope you have found something that will be of use to you as you help your students develop a strong foundation.

**BEFORE YOU HOP ALONG...**

Feel free to sign up for the following giveaways!

*The Number Line*by Jeff Frykholm, Ph.D.If you haven't already, read about using an open number line in my blog post referenced above. Then enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Place Value Cube Activities Pack**

Enter to win some great

**place value cube activities**that can be used in guided math groups and as workstations/centers.**Now, HOP ALONG!!**Please take the time to visit Susan at

**The Math Spot!**A thank you also goes out to Brandi from

*for organizing another AWESOME blog hop!*

**The Research Based Classroom**Smiles,

What a neat hop!!! Place value can be tricky for some but oh so important to know!! One can never have to many ideas on this subject :-) Thanks for the great freebies and ideas!!

ReplyDeleteKaren Frey

You are so welcome, and thank you for stopping by! I know you will find some great things shared by all the participating bloggers...

DeleteSmiles,

Sarah

Love the math hop idea! And you are right my 3rd graders have NO IDEA what 35 tens means, we are continuing to struggle through our Math lessons. I am struggling with how to get 30 into some kind of math block rotations, so I can do Guided Math. Which I have never done, so this is new to me also. Thank you!!!

ReplyDeleteThanks so much for stopping by! As you begin to think about guided math, you might like to read through our past book study posts for Guided Math in Action by Nicki Newton. We also have some wonderful resources you can access through our navigation bar. :0) Anything you might need as you journey along, please let us know...

DeleteAll the best--

Sarah

What a great post! I have learned so many things that can use right away.

ReplyDeleteThank you, Barbara! I am just getting ready to hop around more myself. It has been a busy weekend. :0) Can't wait!

DeleteSmiles,

Sarah

It cut me of.....Great tips!

ReplyDeleteThe place value tools are a great resource.

ReplyDeleteGlad you can use them! :0)

DeleteSarah

Great post. I'm glad you joined this hop! Place value is so important for young mathmaticians to understand, you gave great advice for making it a part of every day.

ReplyDeleteBrandi--

DeleteThank you again for letting me get in at the last minute! I have to be more diligent in keeping up--still don't know how I missed it. You did a great job organizing the hop--so many wonderful comments about it already!

Sarah

First off, thank you for sharing so many games, tools and activities! More/Less/Trade looks like a great game. I love how the game distinguishes value vs. digit and then gives students an immediate application (trying to make the smallest or largest number). The game is printing as we speak :) The Math Spot

ReplyDeleteYou are so welcome! After stopping by your blog yesterday, I need to spend some quality time looking around. So glad the game sparked your interest! I spruced it up a bit to post for the HOP! Thanks for your kind words!

DeleteSmiles,

Sarah

What a great blog hop!! Learning lots of ideas I can use for reteaching and spiraling throughout the remainder of this year. Cannot wait to use these new strategies and resources next year at the beginning of the year!

ReplyDeleteIt is wonderful to hear you are finding so many things useful! Thanks so much for stopping by and participating! :0)

DeleteSarah

I can't wait to see Courtney's post about digi-blocks! I have been using them for the past year with some intervention kids but have not met a lot of teachers using them yet. Can't wait to see what her take is!

ReplyDeleteTara

The Math Maniac

I know she is excited about using them! She will do a post dedicated to them in the near future... Thanks for stopping by!

DeleteI nominated you for the Liebster Award! Check out my blog to accept it :)http://thepawsitivepencil.blogspot.com

ReplyDeleteWe are knee deep in place value and a couple of my kiddos are struggling so I appreciate all the suggestions. Great blog hop! Thanks for the giveaways, too!

ReplyDeleteYou are so welcome! I enjoyed hopping around myself--look for future hops. :0)

DeleteSmiles,

Sarah

Thank you for sharing all these great ideas! I can't wait to try the game you included!

ReplyDeleteSure thing! You will have to let me know how your kids like it! :0)

DeleteSarah

Thanks for sharing all of these great ideas! Especially since place value is so difficult for some.

ReplyDeletechief9937@Yahoo.com

No problem! There are so many other gems shared in this HOP, too. Enjoy!

DeleteSarah

Thank you so much for the great ideas and the Hop!

ReplyDeleteYou are welcome! Look for future hops like this! Thanks go to Brandi at The Research Based Classroom for organizing. :0) Thanks so much for stopping!

DeleteSarah

All I remember learning is the algorithm in school and memorizing math facts. It wasn't until a great professor talked to us of how kids better learn about number and it's progression. Thank you for share your knowledge and ideas with us.

ReplyDeleteThere are so many of us who grew up this way! Thanks so much for your kind words, and I hope you enjoy HOPping around!

DeleteSarah

Thanks for being a part of this hop! Place value is so important and can be hard for kids to understand. Thank you for the chance to win!

ReplyDeleteGood luck to you! Thanks so much for HOPping by!

DeleteSmiles,

Sarah

Great place value ideas! We use Singapore Math so my daughter is taught that numbers can be represented in various ways, e.g. 540 can be expressed as (a) 5 hundreds 4 tens, (b) 540 ones, (c) 54 tens, (d) 5 hundreds, 4 tens, 0 ones.

ReplyDeleteCherie

Fluttering through the Seasons

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