Teaching place value to kids in math class can be fun – if you have some hands-on learning activities and visuals, like charts. You can utilize game boards or worksheets.
The key really is for students to understand the core of what place value is, which is abstract and much harder to get across when they just “don’t get it.”
I’ve always enjoyed teaching math. Whether it’s place value, geometry, algebra, or even basic operations, it just makes sense to me. I’m definitely an analytical type who loves crunching numbers and figuring out the puzzle.
So it sometimes baffles me when I am teaching a new concept in math class, only to be met with glossy eyes staring back at me.
You know the look. Like you have aliens coming out of your head.
It is then you realize you need to come up with some additional explanations for the topic before you lose those students completely to visions of their favorite video games as they daydream for the rest of hour.
A Fun Way to Explain Place Value for Kids
First, I always like to start new math concept lessons with the definition of new math terms from the dictionary.
So in this case, place value means “The value of where a digit is in the number.”
Side note: I love the Math is Fun online math dictionary!
Once students are able to identify the basic meaning, they are ready to move into more advanced place value concepts. And let’s be honest, MOST math concepts build upon place value in some way, so this is a really important skill to master as early as possible.
10 Place Value Chart Examples
Need some visual representations to show your students? Loving these options you can recreate in your own classroom! There are a variety of choices from decimal numbers to examples of showing numbers up to 100 or even 1,000.
I love this choice for showing many forms of how to show and say a number.
Place value and rounding go hand-in-hand. This anchor chart is a great example of how to remember whether to round up or down.
Need a decimal place value anchor chart? We’ve got you covered!
I can’t get over just how adorable this is! A robot? That computes place value? Seriously, I can’t even…
If you teach older students and are working on decimal place value, the chart below is perfect. I particularly love the extra tip at the bottom of the chart. That concept is one of the hardest to remember for sure.
Vocabulary words and symbols all related to place value and number computation. Love it!
The house visual is always a great representation of numbers.
Does anyone else wish they could make cute anchor charts like this one? Just me? Ok. But luckily we can all recreate this author’s awesome skills.
Comparing numbers is another skill that is practiced with place value know-how. All students from Kindergarten up will need to know how to compare numbers at some point.
Loving this graphic organizer that works on the foundations of place value too. It could be used as a whole class anchor chart or as an independent worksheet for additional practice.
Want to see more? I have a collection of all these, plus some, at my Place Value Charts Pinterest board.
Teaching Tips for Your Place Value Lessons
Need some more teaching tips and resources for your place value lesson plans?
There can never be enough good ideas, right? What makes sense for one child, may not make sense for the next. Having a full arsenal of teaching strategies can really help you when those glossy eyes return.
I asked the OC Facebook fans “What is your best teaching tip for teaching place value?” And of course, like usual, they filled the screen with ideas! I have compiled all the ideas into one handy reference guide, which is ready and waiting for you below!
Thanks for stopping by and I would love to see a few comments below – you know, just so I know you are out there.