Archive for October, 2012

Place Value

October 28, 2012

Place Value

Place value can be very difficult to master. Students often forget to put in zeros to hold places. In third grade, our students had to read the written form of a number, read the standard form, write the expanded form, and then be able to round. At our school we went up to the 100,000 place, so all of these activities go up that high. You could easily adapt these activities for lower or higher numbers.

Game 1: Place Value Concentration:
This game is played just like regular concentration or as other people might call it, memory. Make up a variety of index cards with numbers written to whatever place value you are working on. Then make a corresponding index card with the same number but in expanded form. Place all of the cards in rows upside down. Students take turns turning over two cards to see if they are a match. If not their turn ends. If it is a match, then they go again until they do not find a match.

Here is what I put on my cards:










Game 2: Partner Place Center (no partner needed)
At this center, students read the written form of numbers up to the 100,000s. They write the numbers on paper and then flip the paper over to find the answers and self correct. There are two sets of numbers for this center.

Place Value Activity Game 2
Place Value Activity #2

Game 3: Partner Place Value
In this game there are two students. One student holds number cards that have numbers that need practicing. The second student has number tiles, which are just squares with one number per square. I provide 0, 1, 2,3….9 on the squares. All of the numbers to be called don’t have repeat numbers so you don’t need more than one number. The student with the number tiles puts the numbers in order to match what is heard.
Here are the numbers I have on my cards to be called out:

Game 4: Place Value Bingo
Students sit in groups of up to 6. One student is the caller and calls out all of the number cards. The other students all have different game boards. The other students have to listen to what number is being called out and find it. The first to get Bingo gets to be the next caller. This is great practice for the caller to have to read the numbers and for the players to have to listen to them and picture what the numbers look like.

Here are the bingo cards:

Place Value Bingo

Place Value Bingo2

Place Value Bingo3

Place Value Bingo4

Place Value Bingo5

Place Value Bingo Calling Cards

Game 5: Math-o-Matic
This place value game works on the skill of rounding. There are two game boards. One is rounding to the 10s and the other is rounding to the 100s. Students roll two dice. They arrange the dice to make a two digit number. They can arrange the two numbers anyway they like. For example if they roll a 3 and 4, they can make it 34 or 43. So then choosing the number 43 they round it to 40 and then cover up a space under the 40 column. Game continues until someone covers up all of their squares. Sometimes they may have to miss a turn if the roll numbers that they don’t need.

. Place Value Dice Game-  Draw the number of spaces you want your number to have.  We just wanted to practice up to the 100s place so we drew 3 dashes for each digit.  Then player one rolls the die and places the number that shows up on the die in one of the spots.  Player 2 has his turn.  Repeat so that each player rolls the die 3 times and each time places the number rolled into one of the spaces.  The person with the larger number wins.




October 28, 2012


When everyone in my class can participate in a food activity,  I like to do this activity with Skittles or Froot Loops.  First hand out bags of Skittles.  Next, the students sort the Skittles into groups on the worksheet above.  Then the students can graph the results.  1bargraphfrootloop      1pictograph    1Sorting fruitloopsdirections       1sortingfrootloops           sortingskittles        Skittles Graph2    skittlesmath3rd.cwk (WP)

Here is a graph from Little Giraffes:

There are so many things you can do with the Froot Loops- pattern necklaces, probability, counting with tally marks…

I just love using the Developing Number Concepts Book 1, by Kathy Richardson.  This activity was great for sorting and counting.
In this activity a student scoops a bunch of cubes into his cup. He then dumps the cubes and sorts them by color. Next, he counts each group and then records it on his paper. Have a paper already programed with colors written. You could even have the student use  a crayon to color over each color word if he needs help with reading. I had Frank do his and then count the total number of cubes used as he put them back into his cup. He circled the grand total.
He really liked this activity.* You could also graph the results.


October 28, 2012


Counting Stamps: I found this idea on Itty Bitty Love.  All you do is make a little book with a number on each page and then students stamp that number of stamps on each page.  Make sure to supply stamps that have only one object in them so it isn’t confusing.

Ways to practice counting to 100:

1. First of all if you look up “100s day” on the internet you will find tons of ideas, many of which I am posting here. The sales lady at the teacher store gave me that idea.

2. Pin in 100 sequins in a styrofoam ball and give as Christmas gifts.

3. String 100 Fruit Loops on a necklace. That also could be used as a gift.

4. Have your child count out 100 Legos and see what he can build.

5. Color number patterns on a 100s chart. Color all the numbers with 5 in them red and observe.

6. Play Pig. This is a Marilyn Burns activity.

7. Pick your child’s favorite cereal or snack and let him count out 100 pieces to eat. My child eats snack every day in kindergarten so this will be great!

8. Estimate how far 100 steps is on the sidewalk. Mark the spot and then walk 100 steps to check.

9. Count out 100 pieces of pasta when eating pasta for dinner.

10. Start collections of 100 things: rocks, pasta shapes, puff balls, beads, buttons, pennies, etc.

11. Work with 100 pieces of mosaic Legos.

12. Count out 100 marshmallows to make Rice Krispi Treats.

13. Count words in a short story. First highlight each word and then count them together. Make sure this has a really big font. Your child will also learn about spacing between words.

14. Make a turkey and add 100 feathers. You could write down what thankful for each day you do this.

15. Buy a 100 count crayon box and discuss the colors and how to use them.

16. Drop in 10 chocolate chips in each pancake and make 10.

17. Build with 100 Popsicle sticks and clay.

18. Build with 100 Tinker Toys.

19. Add on an over sized calculator and then count out that many beans or money to pay.

20. Count how many raisins are in a little box.

21. Trace your foot or hand and count how many candies fit in it. Do with an adult hand or foot too to see the difference.

22. Play “Circles and Stars”. This is another Marilyn Burns activity for multiplication, but for the young ones just stick to adding. (see multiplication for directions)

23. Read Draw Me a Star and draw stars for one minute and count them up.

24. Count 100 pennies on a 100s chart. Place one penny in each square as you count.

This is another quick and simple activity from  Developing Number Concepts: Book 1 that allows kids to work on their counting skills and number sense.

Depending on ability, write numerals up to 20 on cards and place them in a box or bag.  Students select a card and build a tower with that number of cubes.  He continues picking cards and building as time allows. He then places the numeral cards next to the corresponding tower.

Teach Mama has this easy and fun game to practice counting and 1:1 correspondence.

Roll a Tower Race Game: This is another activity from the book Developing Number Concepts Book 1, by Kathy Richardson.  We really liked this one person game.  Create a graph with 1-6 on the bottom of the graph. Provide a die and some cubes. The student rolls the die and builds a tower with the number of cubes that the die lands on. The student places the tower in the correct column. For example if a student rolls a 4 he builds a tower of 4 cubes and places it in the 4 column on the graph. He continues to play until one column reaches the finish line and wins.
This game is great for practicing counting and graphing.  The student could also transfer the results to a graph on paper.*Note to establish rolling rules such as if it rolls off the table does it count?
Number Match Game from No Time for Flashcards- I tried this simple activity with my three year old and he really liked it.  Just show your child the numeral and he finds the corresponding dot card.  I drew my dots in the same pattern on a die so that he will learn those dot patterns for later use.  I did our numbers and dots on the same colored paper to make it a little more challenging.

Developing Number Concepts, Book 1: Counting, Comparing, and Pattern This activity came from the mentioned book.  There are designs to copy using Unifix cubes and then your child counts how many cubes he used. If you can’t get the book, then you could do your own designs and then count the amount of cubes.

Skip Counting

October 28, 2012

Skip Counting:

Practice everyday! Point to it on a chart and chant the numbers.

Counting by 2s book using shoes from Carson- Dellosa.

Dr. Jean’s website has an activity to do with hands that looks pretty cute.

Hands Down: Counting by Fives by Michael Dahl

Addition and Subtraction

October 28, 2012









Unifix Cube adding



img_7065img_7066 Domino addition is something that is simple and uses dominoes that you may already have laying around your house.  Just pick a domino and lay it down on a paper.  Your child adds each side of the block together and writes the answer.  You may even choose to have your child write the addition sentence below the domino.

Domino Addition Parking Lot Game from and here. Use the dominos as cars to park them in the spaces with the sums of the dots on the dominos.

Grab Bag Subtraction

This was another fun activity from Developing Number Concepts: book 2.  Put any number of cubes into a bag.  Be sure to tell the student how many cubes are in the bag.  We chose to do 10 cubes.  Next, the student puts his hand in the bag and grabs a handful of cubes and counts them.  The student has to figure out how many cubes are still in the bag.  There are two ways you can write the number sentence:




I put 7 because that is how many cubes this student pulled out.  This skill is much harder than I thought, so I let the student use a different set of 10 cubes to help him.  We continued 4 more times.

Addition and Subtraction:

This activity came from Developing Number Concepts: book 2. You need a spinner with a + side and a – side; we just made one using our Tinker Toy spinner and a paper until it with + on one side and – on the other. So first your child spins the spinner and if it lands on the + side then he rolls the die and puts that number of cubes (using the first color) on his number square (see the book for more number squares, we are using an 8 square).  Then fill in the rest of the empty spaces on the number square with the second color of cubes you are using.  Write the number sentence on the recording sheet (we just wrote on plain paper). So if you roll a 2 put 2 green cubes on and then fill in the rest of the spaces with 6 red cubes. Write 2+6=8 on the recording sheet. If your child spins a – then he covers the entire number square with all one color cubes so in our case he covered the squares with 8 red cubes.  Then roll the die and take away that many cubes.  In the picture you can see my son rolled  a 2 so he took off 2 cubes.  Finally write the number sentence 8-2=6.  This was a fun game and a great alternative to worksheets to practice addition and subtraction.

tree Today, we did work problems using this tree.  I gave him an addition problem and then he had to tell a story to match it.  I got the idea from Developing Number Concepts: book 2.  The tree came from Hubbard’s Cupboard.  You can see the problem he came up with to match the addition fact.  We started out using “apples” but found apples might be better with subtraction problems, so we changed the puff balls to birds. If you are teaching in a classroom, then you could collect each child’s story problem and put them in a book for students to work out at a center.

Months of the Year

October 28, 2012


“Apples, Peaches, Pears and Plums” This is a good song to practice singing the months or to sing at the beginning of the year as a get to know you song.

Apples, peaches, pears and plums,
Tell me when your birthday comes?

(Kids stand up when they hear their birth month and stay standing. Once you have gotten to December, sing the song again and the kids sit down as they hear their birthday month. Also, you can do a beat from one leg to the other as you say the months.)

January, February, March, April,
May, June, July, August, September,
October, November, December?

Another way I teach the months is to sing the months to the tune of “10 Little Indians”.  At the end we sing “Those are the months of the year” or “There are 12 months in a year.”


“Peach, pear, pie, plum”

Adding: Sums of 10

October 28, 2012

We use this sums of 10 rainbow to study the different combinations.

Math Coach’s Corner has this fun card game to play and practice sums of 10.  After we completed the worksheet, we matched up the cards to make sums of ten. 


October 28, 2012

How Long, How Many: This is another great game from Marilyn Burns.  Each player has a 10×10 grid and a marker.  Player 1 rolls two dice and then creates a rectangle of the dimensions rolled on the grid.  So if a player rolls a 3 and a 4, then he would draw a 3×4 rectangle or 4×3 rectangle anywhere on his paper.  The game continues until one player can no longer fit a rectangle rolled onto his paper.  I allow for each player to get the same number of turns, so if the game ends and a player did not get as many turns as the players before him then he can roll one more time.  Once the game is over each player adds up the areas covered up on his game board.  The winner is the player with the most squares covered. *I do this game a little differently from Marilyn in that I have the kids write the multiplication fact and the answer in each rectangle made.  This also makes it easier to add up at the end.

To start out multiplication I always use this circles and stars activity from Marilyn Burns.  You will need a die, paper, pen and 2 players.  We first divided our paper into 8, but you could adjust for the amount of practice you feel is appropriate.  Next, the first player rolls the die.  He takes the number on the die and draws that many circles (first example in picture has 3 circles). Then player one rolls the die again and draws that number of stars in EACH circle (example has 1 in each circle since he rolled a 1).  He then writes 1+1+1=3.  Player 2 has a turn on his own paper.  Repeat play until each box is filled in.  Meet up in a group again to demonstrate how to convert their addition problems to multiplication.  The first number are the circles so for example 1 write 3 since there were 3 circles. Then write x1 since there was one star in each circle.  It would be best to show an example with a 1 in it but that is what our game played this time.  So have your students go back and write the multiplication sentences to each box.  If you want to determine a winner you could have them count how many times they got the larger number in each box or add up all of the products and see who has the highest number.

ice cream scoopsUsed to keep track of multiplication facts.

Dividing with Remainders

October 28, 2012


Today we played a Marilyn Burns game called “The Game of Leftovers”.  This was a great way to see what a remainder means.  Start out with 12 pieces of paper or other objects and six plates.  You will also need a die.  The first player rolls the die and that number determines the number of plates needed to divide the little papers.  So if you roll a 5, then you would choose 5 plates and lay them out.  Then divide the 12 pieces of paper among the plates.  Whatever can’t be divided equally goes off to the side and is a remainder.  On a record sheet the student will write 12/5= 2 R 2.  In this instance the player gets to keep the remainder 2 pieces of paper.  The next player would then start out with 10 pieces of paper since there was a remainder on the last roll.  Players continue until there are no remaining pieces of paper. Sometimes a player will get numbers that divide equally and no remainders.


October 28, 2012

To practice rounding my kids played this fun game today.  Each player gets his own game board as shown and then you need a set of dice and something to mark the spots on the game board.  Take turns rolling the two dice and then choose which number you want to use to round.  For example, in the picture I rolled a 4 and a 3, so I can choose the number 43 OR the number 34.  Choose a number and then round it.  Mark the space on the game board that matches the number rounded.  The first person to cover his/her board wins.  Next time I play this I am going to get dice with numerals on them to make it easier for the kids who need to visually see the number.