Teaching Basic Place Value Understanding

I hear a lot from teachers about how students (even in upper elementary) still struggle with basic place value concepts.  And these ideas are SO fundamental to so many math skills.   When my fourth graders were struggling with computation, I realized that it was because so many of them lacked fundamental base ten understanding.  It was hard for them to make sense of the algorithms or to do any sort of mental math, rounding, estimation, or problem solving- because they didn't have the basics of understanding how numbers work!

I know, it's sometimes hard to provide students with meaningful place value practice that's also engaging and develops higher order thinking skills.   And, it's even harder to do this in a multiage classroom or a classroom where students are at many different levels.  So, I created the Picking Places Game!

The game leaves some parts to chance and some parts to decision making, so it's a good balance for elementary students.  Every game will be different because there's chance involved.  BUT, students will still be motivated to think critical and problem solve because they can largely affect the outcome of the game with their decisions. 

The record sheet hold kids accountable for their work and helps them connect the concepts with the written equations.

Happy (Place Value) Teaching!!

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