Teaching place value is very foundational in helping your students to understand addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  It can be fairly complex for your students to learn and understand.  When teaching place value it’s important to start slow.  Make sure students understand each place value before moving on to harder math concepts. Here are some place value activity ideas for your lessons when you start teaching place value.

How to Introduce Place Value

Introduce place value by using tens sticks and ones. If you don’t have sticks, you can use straws and beads.

Discuss their roles and demonstrate to your class by showing them different numbers on the board and using the tens sticks and ones to represent a number.

Activity #1: Place Value War

Have your students create a number using tens and ones. Make sure to give them each nine tens and nine ones this way they aren’t trading in numbers yet. This is just the introduction to place value. Once your students have created a number, have them compare their number to a desk mate’s number by writing both down on a whiteboard and circling or using the comparing signs to show which number is bigger and smaller.

Activity #2: Trading Ones for Tens

Once students have mastered the beginning place value steps through activities and manipulatives, you can move on to trading ones in for tens.  Give each student nine tens and as many ones as you can. Model this skill first by creating a number with tens and ones that are above 10. Show them what that means and how they can “trade” because holding a tens stick or straw is easier to hold in their hands. Show them how to do this then ask a couple of students to model this for the class too. Then have students break off into pairs to practice building numbers and the concept of trading. This will help with two-digit addition.

FREEBIES- Make Teaching Place Value fun!

I happen to LOVE crafts and so I wanted to combine crafting and place value for my kiddos! Check out these fun freebies that I have in my store for you to try out with your students.

This Place Value Breakfast Freebie is super fun to complete with your class! You can grab it here

Every kid loves donuts. This place value donut shop freebie is another fun breakfast themed freebie! It’s available in my TPT store here

More Math Please!

Looking for other math resources? Check out this blog post