Daily Schedule

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Place Value and Number Sense

At the beginning of the year, I spend a lot of time with my math group on developing number sense. Number sense can be defined simply as a student's ability to use and understand numbers. A big part of number sense is understanding place value - that the numeral 8 in the tens place represents 80, whereas an 8 in the hundreds place represents 800. One of the games that I like to play is called - rather obviously - The Place Value Game. 

In class, the last 10 minutes or so is used to play this game. It gets increasingly challenging each time, as we are making bigger and bigger numbers. Each child gets a place value mat and I am in charge of the deck of cards (which includes the zero). As I draw each card, the students need to decide where to put that number - under the 10 thousands place, the tens place? Once they write a number down, they cannot erase it. We each try to get the largest number possible. This game takes knowledge of the place value system, strategy, and luck. 

Then we practice reading our numbers. Currently we are practicing reading numbers into the millions place.

We will play another partner variation of it tomorrow in math class, and you can play at home. All you need is a deck of cards, to have the digits 0-9 (take out face cards, and mark the 10 card to become the zero).  You also need a  Place value mat.     


Partner A turns over the first card and decides where to place that card on his/her place value mat.   Once the card is placed, it may not be moved.

Partner B turns over a card and decides where to place that card on his/her place value mat.   Again, the card may not be moved once it is placed.

Play continues with each partner turning over a card and deciding where to place it on the place value mat in hopes of building the largest number.

When all slots are filled on the place value mats, partners compare numbers to see who created the larger number.   That partner wins a point for the round.

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