Place Value

As we settle into our classrooms this year and begin lesson planning I want to you to think about your current place value unit. Do you like it? Does it need improvement?

Place value is something that should be taught at the beginning of the school year. Place value lies the foundation for the basic math functions that will be taught for the remainder of the year. Without it, students will not be prepared to truly understand counting to 120, equalities, addition, or subtraction. Place value is the underlying foundation for the those very basic elementary math concepts.

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The unit starts of with a simple story. It gives each place its own special spot on “decimal street”. The story teaches that only 9 of each kind can live in one given house. There is the one’s house, the ten’s house, and the hundred’s castle. Only up to 9 can live in each house because once we get more than 9, we would need to “carry over”. It introduces the concept of regrouping without an explicit lesson. Once you are ready to teach regrouping, it’ll be easy because it will build on top of the place value foundation you already built .

This is what decimal street would look like, but you can really make it your own. There is room to add to the story and to make the story your own with personal touches. Again, all of my resources are in black and white so that you can add your personal touch.

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Once the concept of decimal street is taught and the students know where the ones’s place, ten’s place, and hundred’s place is, they can then start activities. I like to start off with some simple coloring. This worksheet has the students color the tens place one color and the one’s place another color. This shows me who can identify what place a number is in.


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The next activity I like to do is to count how many hundreds, tens, and ones are in a number and then writing that number on the corresponding line.

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Then, I like to have the students match the number to the correct amount of blocks.

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These worksheets are not the only thing I use in my classroom. This year I made each partner group a pencil box with 9 one blocks, 9 ten blocks and just a few hundreds blocks. I am going to the have the students build different numbers with a partner.

So, what will you do this year for your place value unit? If I can change your mind about anything today, I hope you consider teaching place value very early on in the school in year. Check out my TpT Store and make sure to click the green star for updates and sales.

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Happy Teaching Busy Teachers!

tack bwthanks