Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teaching Place Value in First Quarter?!?

As you know, our state has adopted the Common Core Standards for Language Arts and Math and we are in implementation year #1. According to these new standards, Place Value is first introduced in the first quarter of the school year. In the past we introduced Place Value during the third quarter, when the students had a much better understanding of numbers. When my team and I saw this BIG change we were a little worried about it! It has been an eye opening experience, but I must say my students are really getting the hang of it the more we practice!

With all that said, I wanted to share some old and new ideas for Place Value. (Please forgive me if I don't remember the exact source of where I got the ideas.)

Place Value Mats

When we introduced Place Value in the third quarter of the school year, it was during the Winter season and we made these super cute Penguin mats....
I believe this idea came from The Mailbox. My penguin was larger so that I could use it easily during a whole group lesson. Aren't they cute?!
These are the numbers that one of my teammates created for us to use on the mats (0-9). We simply ran them on construction paper (color of our choice) and if time aloud, the students got to decorate their numbers. We stored them in sandwich size plastic bags.

We also used Base Ten blocks (tens and ones) to represent numbers on our mats!

Now that we introduce Place Value at the beginning of the school year, my team and I didn't think penguins were really appropriate. However, the mats really helped our students learn and understand the concept of tens and ones. So, we threw out some ideas and this is what I came up with...
An owl! Isn't he handsome?!
Same concept, but an animal that they might see/hear this time of the year!! I was inspired by a craft I saw on Pinterest and I simply free-handed the wings, feet, eyes, head, and mouth and made masters of them to run on construction paper. I'm no artist, but I thought the owls turned out so cute (and no two turned out the same, they have such personality)!  
Count Your Beans
This activity can be found on my Math Pinterest board, but actually came from the Kindergarten Crayons blog. It was soooo helpful! I do believe that we played this game for two days instead of just one as originally scheduled in my lesson plans. (Exactly why I use pencil in my plan book!!) Like I said earlier, this was an EYE OPENING experience! Day one, the students were still a little lost. However, by the end of Day 2 most of their little light bulbs were glowing with understanding! I then made this activity one of my Math Stations this week and the students are absolutely flying through it with no problems and need no help with it at all!! Yay!! I'm so proud of my Buckaroos!
Thank you for this wonderful resource! I totally recommend using it in your classroom!
  Other Place Value Activities
On my Math Pinterest board you can find even more Place Value activities. There are just too many great ones to list them all! I hope you enjoy the ideas above and check out the others on my Math board.

Holly Kaczmarek


  1. Hi! My friend found your blog when I was talking about mine I just started. My name is Holly Kaczmarek too! I just moved from NC and my husband (lol NOT named Joshua) and I are expecting our first child too! I just finished teaching Pre-K and really loved doing it, but moved on to another job. Wow! How crazy life is sometimes! I like your blog and will pass it around to my old friends if they need any ideas!

    -Holly Kaczmarek

  2. Hi Friend! I have no idea why or how but for some reason I was no longer a follower of your blog. What????? I think it may have happened when I was trying to change the pic associated with my blog. Anyway! I wanted to swing by to say hi...I can't believe I am just 6 minutes away from my old team and haven't been able to talk to any of you! Life is soooo busy. I saw your latest pics of your belly, You look AWESOME:) Hope all is going well. I miss you guys!


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