Friday, November 5, 2010

Puzzling Place Value

Here is a fun and educational math center for learning the basics of place value. This is a skill that most 3rd graders need to understand for standardized testing. Here is how the center works. All the pockets are labeled with a place value. On each card there is a 2-5 digit number. One of the digits is underlined indicating a place value. The student is to determine which place value is being highlighted, then choose the correct pocket. I put stickers on the back of each card that will act as a way for the student to self-check their work. If the sticker on the back matches the one on the pocket, their answer is correct. Below are the instructions I typed up, but you are certainly welcome to do your own or add extra elements as your students require them.

  1. Choose a number card.
  2. Determine which place the underlined number is in.
  3. Place card in the pocket that corresponds with that card's place value.
  4. After all cards have been placed, flip them over to check your answers.
Another idea would be to attach one of the large pockets used on the front, to the back of the board. Then put a worksheet on place value in the pocket, for students to complete after working at the center. This will help you, as the teacher, determine whether or not the student mastered the skill and if additional instruction is necessary.

Here are the products I used to create this board...
  • FLP30045PU - Purple Project Board
  • TNT6450 - Real Big Pockets - Bright
  • T10805 - Puzzle Mini Accents
  • T69034 - Jigsaw Name Plates
  • PAC101169 - Colorful Assorted Cardstock
  • T79743 - 4" Yellow Playful Punch Out Letters
The words on the pockets I typed up using fonts I downloaded for free online. To make the title I enlarged one of the small puzzle pieces on a copy machine, to create a template that I traced onto colorful pieces of cardstock. I pieced them together to create the background and then put my title on top of it.

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