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My Favorite Activities for Effectively Teaching Place Value

At the beginning of each year, I always start with place value. When you consider regrouping, multi-digit multiplication, or any dealing with decimals… Place Value is the foundation from which you build upon. So it’s crucial that the foundation is strong, and that any gaps or misunderstandings are identified and corrected quickly. In order for students to have good number sense, they must have a concrete understanding of place value that goes beyond the surface.

According to Sherman, Richardson, and Yard, “Place value is perhaps the most fundamental concept embedded in the elementary and middle school mathematics curriculum.”

When so much is riding on a foundational concept, you could say the activities you use to introduce, explain, or let students explore are just as important. Not to mention these activities are often some of the first that you introduce to your class depending on your curriculum map and it’s important to start the year off “right!”

Below I will share some of my favorite digital and printable activities for teaching place value, as well as a Place Value FREEBIE! Do me a favor, and leave your favorites in the comments!

1. Place Value Match Up: Mystery Picture Tangrams (Digital & Printable Versions)

Keep Reading for Free Mystery Picture Sample

Students work to solve the mystery picture by matching up different Place Value, Rounding, Powers of 10, Number Form…etc Problems. When done correctly the tangram will reveal the mystery picture! These work great as group or partner work, math centers or rotations, Guided Math Groups, Fast Finishers…etc!

Printable Version

These are so much fun! Each puzzle includes both a digital version completed through Google Slides and a printable version. When using the printable version students will cut out the tangram pieces and manipulate the pieces by hand.

Available Place Value Mystery Puzzles:

3rd-4th Grade and Up

5th Grade and Up

 

Try One for FREE with Your Class!

 

 In order to access the download, you must be logged in. Not a member? Not a problem! Sign-up is FAST, FREE and Easy-Peasy Lemon Squeezy! Click here to become a member!

 

 

 

2. Place Value: Decimal, Fractions, and Base 10 Model Matching Card Game (PRINTABLE Activity)

A Classroom Favorite! This download includes 56 cards, 4 matching cards per set. Each match includes the number represented in decimal form, fraction form, and as a Base 10 Model. I’ve included similar numbers to address the most common mistakes my students make when learning these concepts. We use these cards to play spoons, but you could also use them to play memory, go fish, kemps…etc. These cards could also be used as a review game in math centers, rotations, reteach and enrich…etc. 

To say my students loved these cards would be an understatement. You know a “game” is a hit when the students opt to play it as an indoor recess game as opposed to my actual board games! They even continued to play this throughout the year during indoor recess which I loved because it kept everything fresh and made the review of these concepts a BREEZE. I credit these cards and this game to solidifying my student’s understanding of the relationship between models, fractions, and base 10 models. Ask any 5th-grade teacher and this is often a tricky concept for students to master.

***I should note… When we play this card game as Spoons… I changed the name to SILENT Spoons. Meaning, students must play in SILENCE. I have a very little degree of allowance for chaos. Treating this “game” as a privilege and setting the expectations before beginning makes all the difference. Students play in silence until a spoon is taken. The student that took the spoon then must PROVE, their match. If the group agrees, the student gets the win, if not they must discuss as a group where the mismatch took place. Which remember I’ve included cards that look extremely similar to a match, all on purpose. It’s when a student thinks they have a match and doesn’t that leads to the BEST discussion. (Check out the video above and compare the 4 tenths to the 4 hundredths cards for an example of cards that look like they could be matches.)

This is available to purchase in my shop or through Teachers Pay Teachers.

 

 

3. Place Value Puzzle & Dice Game Google Activity Distance Learning DIGITAL BUNDLE (Digital Activity)

The idea for this activity came from the idea of students having place value anchor charts on their actual desks. I thought it would be fun for students to make their own chart for a digital desk! From there, the Place Value Chart Puzzle Activity came about. I’ve included different templates of this puzzle with moveable pieces so you can differentiate or assign and try multiple versions as a class.

This activity includes 2 really great activities that work together seamlessly, or can stand alone. The first activity is the Place Value Chart Puzzle, and the second is a digital version of my Roll Write Repeat Dice Games (See below for printable version of this activity.)

In the Place Value Chart Puzzle, students work to build a Place Value Chart on their digital desk. To do this students use and move different pieces such as commas, decimals (if using decimal version), place value names, powers of ten…etc. The beauty of actually building the chart. Students are better able to observe and comprehend the relationships taking place. This activity leads to great class discussion. I always ask students to look for patterns, or to take note of things that numbers have in common…etc. This activity also includes a space for students to reflect and respond to what they noticed. Once the chart is completed students then breakdown a number into expanded, word, standard, and base 10 model form.

The second activity is a digital version of my Roll Write Repeat Dice Games (See below for printable version of this activity.) This is a really fun activity. Students use a digital dice embedded in the slide to roll their own unique number! This download includes a template for both decimal and Whole Numbers. Students then break down their unique number into Standard Form, Expanded Form, Word Form, and Base 1o Model. The text is editable so you can customize this to your classroom’s needs.

This product includes the following versions of the Place Value Chart Puzzles:

  • Decimals
  • Whole Number through Trillions
  • Whole Number through Billions
  • Whole Number through Millions

The Place Value Puzzle once completed also shows powers of tens. Once students complete the Place Value Chart Puzzle they are then able to complete the Number Form Anchor Chart for their digital desk. ***Students use a digital dice roll to create a number, then represent it in Standard, Word, Base Ten Model, and Expanded Form!

The Follow Up Activity (INCLUDED): Digital Version of Roll Write Repeat ***Uses a Digital Dice for students to demonstrate:

  • Standard Form
  • Word Form
  • Expanded Form (My Pieces use Power of 10, You can have the students type out the expanded form you want them to use if different)
  • Base 10 Block / Model Form
  • Includes Template for decimal and whole number

This is available to purchase in my shop or through Teachers Pay Teachers.

 

 

4. Roll Write Repeat Dice Game: (Printable Activity)

Another Classroom Favorite! (Digital Version of these activities are also included, see above) Students roll a dice to create their own unique number. Students must then represent that number in expanded, word and standard form. This is great fun and great practice. Students don’t even realize the learning or practice that’s taking place. These printable activities are perfect for math centers, rotations, guided math, or independent practice! Students can challenge each other to roll the largest number, you can even come back as a class, cut out the numbers, and work to order them from least to greatest or vice versa!

This printable dice game is available as:

  • Decimal Version
  • Whole Number Version

       

Both are available to purchase in my shop or through Teachers Pay Teachers.

 

 

Try this Place Value Activity for FREE with Your Class!

 

 In order to access the download, you must be logged in. Not a member? Not a problem! Sign-up is FAST, FREE and Easy-Peasy Lemon Squeezy! Click here to become a member!

 

What are your favorite ways to teach Place Value? Comment Below!

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#givethanks 3:7
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I'm grateful for refinement. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to be a little better everyday. Though my growth pattern is for every step forward there's a few steps back, somehow, over time, minuscule little by minute little, there's been progress. Though I don't see it in the day to day, I do see it in the years gone by and though it is slow, and the curve to my chart is gradual, it's there. I know this is due to Christ’s enabling Grace, available through His atonement. I don't think I'll ever quite have the words, the comprehension, or the understanding to adequately express my gratitude for this.

Art by one of my very favorites Emily Shay
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Had to share Emily’s words when she debuted this piece, ”The Refiner’s Fire.”
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”...And yet, considering a piece of rough ore- a rock encased with minerals naturally contains impurities. However with those impurities, it also carries within it precious metals such as silver and gold. For the refiner to create something out of that piece of ore, he needs to begin the refining process by breaking the ore with a heavy hammer. The ore then must be exposed to the refiner’s fire, with temperatures as high as 900-1000 degrees Celsius, in order to burn away the impurities and reveal the precious metal inside.
...
Could there be a gold and silver lining to the trials we are experiencing? By clinging to hope, persevering in faith and trusting in the Master Refiner’s perfect plan, we are refined in the fire.

In this painting there are a few things I’d like to point out:
⁃ with the support of Jesus Christ and heaven raining down tender mercy to keep her from burning, she is safe, cool and unconsumed.
⁃ by accepting such love and support, this brings new growth – beautiful fiery growth.
⁃ Christ’s halo is made of all colors of the flame, as he takes on every and all the impurities.

“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zech. 13:9”
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(Continued in the comments)
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“Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf ...

#givethanks 1:7
I've contemplated today what I would share and though I have SO much to be grateful for... There was no, ”aha!” ”that’s it!” moment!
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As I opened my photos to find a pretty picture to share I found a stream of these images from this morning that made me smile. It's not the picture perfect post, but it's our reality.
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Our reality is made up of a messy house, (that was cleaned today by the best daddy despite working full time from home.
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Our reality is made up of a boy that drags Alexa around from room to room to listen to his music like Chris Stapleton, or Jon Pardi way too loud.
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Our reality is made up of kids having more screentime than they should /taking pictures on mom's phone, left to fend for themselves or run to nana’s house.
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Our reality is a big sister giving her 8week old baby sister her brother’s medicine/ call to poison control...
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Our reality is an exhausted momma, wearing spit up as perfume, in an inside out nightgown, with who knows how long it's been since a brush has been in her hair, hair.
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Our reality is messy, and in the moment I'm not often thinking of how grateful I am for the mess.
But looking at this picture while the kids are sleeping sound... it’s like looking at things through a different lens.
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I'm grateful for the mess.
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LOVING this FREE coloring page to use with this weeks #comefollowme lesson. Head to the website for the link to this instant download and others 💛 ...

“There is no medication or operation that can fix the many spiritual woes and maladies that we face,” President Nelson said. “There is, however, a remedy—one that may seem surprising—because it flies in the face of our natural intuitions. Nevertheless, its effects have been validated by scientists as well as men and women of faith. I am referring to the healing power of gratitude.” – President Nelson ...

FUN & Free Download to help you brainstorm and get into an attitude of gratitude as you participate in @russellmnelson #givethanks challenge! Head to the website for this week’s #comefollowme weekly FREE Resource Roundup ...

Repost• @comefollowmedaily
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Sometimes I wonder, how did the Jaredites do it?

How did they have the faith and courage to step in those barges with everyone they loved, leaving behind their home, stability, and any semblance of control.

No steering wheel to steer. No sail to direct. No windows to see. No air source in the depths. No idea where they were going. No idea how long it would take. No idea if they had enough food.

No game plan but prayer.

Can you imagine those moments where they were running out of oxygen in the depths of the sea, praying fervently that the Lord would lift them in time? Because I’m sure they were imagining it as they stepped into that barge.

How did they do it?
The answer, I believe, is that God had prepared them.

Ether 2:6 says of their journey, “And it came to pass that they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord.”
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They had done this before. They had been in the barges. They had crossed over many waters, and had felt God direct them continually.

They knew God was with them. So, when their greatest challenge came, they were prepared.

How has God prepared you for your challenges today? What smaller waters have you already crossed to prepare you for the ocean you are now in?

Or, what smaller waters are you crossing right now to prepare you for the oceans ahead?

Remember, “God has already prepared the way. He is just preparing you.” (Tangie Ambrose).

Art by @yongsungkimart
Thanks to my friend, Becky Rowley, for the conversation that inspired this post ❤️
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Have you ever lost something, looked EVERYWHERE, all the while telling yourself “You don’t need to pray,” “YOU can find it,” ” We’re not to that point yet…” Only to get to the point of offering a desperate prayer, to find the thing you were searching for moments later, likely in a place you had already looked. This has happened to me more times than I care to admit. From my wedding ring to my only set of car keys. As I reflect on those little miracles or moments of God showing me His hand, I think those moments carry more weight because I left myself to my own devices for so long. I knew when I sheepishly found them after praying that the finding was outside of my own capabilities. Again I think this was an example of my own veil of disbelief.

According to President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973), the Lord’s question was similar to saying the following:

“‘Well, have you any good ideas? What would you suggest that we should do in order to have light?’ …

“Then the Lord went away and left him alone. It was as though the Lord were saying to him, ‘Look, I gave you a mind to think with, and I gave you agency to use it. Now you do all you can to help yourself with this problem; and then, after you’ve done all you can, I’ll step in to help you.’”
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“Sometimes the only thing separating us from the blessings we seek is our own “veil of unbelief,” and if we can “rend that veil” (Ether 4:15), we may be surprised by what the Lord is willing to do for us.”
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This excerpt from Come Follow Me this week really struck me. As I thought about what it meant, I realized that too often I had fallen victim to my own disbelief sometimes in the simplest ways and moments. I think in part it’s how my “natural” mind works. I’m quite an anxious person and my mind always puts things in worst-case scenario, that way when best-case or mildly-acceptable case come along I feel prepared and even happy with the outcome. I think it’s a survival mechanism. Whatever it is, it’s the default setting for my brain.
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An instance that sticks out to me happened about a year ago. A dear friend of our family was going through cancer treatments for a cancer that he had beat once already. Things looked pretty bleak. My family had helped to organize a fundraiser that I was quite involved with. I did everything within my power to make things ok. Notice I did everything within MY power.
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My husband and I were headed to the temple to do sealings with some of his old mission companions and mission president. As we drove to the temple I broke down filled with dread and hopelessness as our friend’s battle with cancer seemed to take another drive.
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This brought the question… What’s the point? What’s the point in praying, if God already knows the outcome. Because God knows the outcome and it’s ultimately His will why even pray….. (read the rest on this week’s Come Follow Me Blog Post)
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Comment below your thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think💛
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Fun Object Lesson for #comefollowme this week:
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Mormon and Moroni had faith that their actions, work, and sacrifice would bring about beauty for tomorrow.

What are you doing today? What seeds are you planting, or in my case SHOULD be planting? What is something you can do today that will bring about a more beautiful tomorrow?

If you are looking for a way to solidify this idea, it just so happens to be the perfect time to plant bulbs. Tulips and daffodils are one of my absolute FAVORITES.

If you’ve never planted bulbs before here are a few tips:

🌷Plant in a spot where it will receive full sun, or afternoon sun.
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🌷Tulips prefer well-drained soil.
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🌷Planting before a freeze is optimal, however, you will still have great chances with planting your bulbs in the winter. Tulips are surprisingly hardy.
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🌷The larger the bulb, the deeper it will need to be planted. Larger bulbs need to be planted around 6-8inches deep.
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🌷When you plant the bulbs the pointy side needs to be pointed up.
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🌷Leave them to their own devices and have faith that March will be made more beautiful because of your efforts!
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this! Make sure to comment below.

As you plant, consider making a commitment to the figurative seeds you can plant and care for each day. Come March, when your tulips bloom, reflect on your actions and document the beauty that came because of your actions.
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“To gain unshakable faith in Jesus Christ is to flood your life with brilliant light. You are no longer alone to struggle with challenges you know you cannot resolve or control yourself, for He said, ‘If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me’ (Moroni 7:33; italics added). – Richard G. Scott ...

You may not know this about me, but I love gardening, especially flower gardens. I’m no good at it, and again my good intentions outdo any action on my part, leaving an often neglected and overgrown sight, however, I still love it and love learning, reading, and experimenting with different blooms.

One of my favorite ideas/thought process about gardening is the idea of planting seeds is a demonstration of faith. The ACTION of planting the seeds and caring for them demonstrates your belief or hope in the beauty that may come tomorrow.

As I read the heading form Come Follow Me this week, I was immediately reminded of this idea.

“Mormon and Moroni had faith that their record would inspire those living in the latter days. As you read Mormon 7–9, write the impressions that come to you about how you can apply what you are learning. “

Mormon and Moroni had faith that their actions, work, and sacrifice would bring about beauty for tomorrow.

What are you doing today? What seeds are you planting, or in my case SHOULD be planting? What is something you can do today that will bring about a more beautiful tomorrow?
📷: @spellandtell
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Have I Seen the Hand of God? FREE printable, November Gratitude Challenge.
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This fun download can be completed digitally by typing into one of the 30 squares each day for the month of November, or print out the page and write in one of the spaces each day.
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“I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.” […] I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?”

-Henry B. Eyring
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New post with FREE Printable for #comefollowme this week! It’s all about making the effort o see the Lord’s hand in our lives every day. Download the November Gratitude Challenge and be ready to start come November 1st💛
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Art by Sammie Rose
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Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
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“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
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“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Had to share Emily’s post and this piece titled “The Refiner’s Fire”

@emilyshayart 2020 has been a YEAR.
Personally, it tops the charts.
My family has been drastically and painfully altered, bringing overwhelming heartache.

And yet, considering a piece of rough ore- a rock encased with minerals which naturally contains impurities. With those impurities, it also carries within it precious metals such as silver and gold. For the refiner to create something out of that piece of ore, he needs to begin the refining process by breaking the ore with a heavy hammer. The ore then must be exposed to the refiner’s fire, with temperatures as high as 900-1000 degrees Celsius, in order to burn away the impurities and reveal the precious metal inside.
God refines us by allowing us to go through painful trials and difficulties. One might think, “What is the purpose of letting Their children suffer if They truly love us?” Is it possible- one way to look at this allegory is to help us understand the purpose beyond our pain- to expose and purify the greatness within?
Could there be a gold and silver lining to the trials we are experiencing? By clinging to hope, persevering in faith and trusting in the Master Refiner’s perfect plan, we are refined in the fire.

In this painting there are a few things I’d like to point out:
⁃ with the support of Jesus Christ and heaven raining down tender mercy to keep her from burning, she is safe, cool and unconsumed.
⁃ by accepting such love and support, this brings new growth – beautiful fiery growth.
⁃ Christ’s halo is made of all colors of the flame, as he takes on every and all impurities.

“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zech. 13:9

“Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of his blessings. Opposition in all things is part of the Refiner’s Fire to prepare us for an eternal celestial destiny.” -Quintin L. Cook

“God would not put you through a refiner’s fire if you were not worth refining.” -Brad Wilcox
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We’re BACK! Thank you so much for your kindness and patience as we took a brief pause to prepare for and welcome our sweetest new addition. THANK you to so many of you who reached out and checked in on us, to know that you have looked forward to and used these posts and even missed them...made me eager to return. ...

Hi There! So Glad You're Here

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