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Place Value Strategy

Posted on : 18-11-2010 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : 3-6 Math, Place Value


Place Value StrategyThe website:


I have shared many place value resources here on the Interactive Content Corner.  Place value is a foundational skill that students must master to understand more complex concepts relating to our system of numbers.  Place Value Strategy tests a student’s knowledge of place value concepts when working with decimals.  Students can choose to play versus a classmate or versus an online robot.  Players take turns spinning the number wheel and choosing to place each number in a specific place value.  The goal is to create a number larger than your opponent’s, but once you have placed a number, it cannot be moved.

This game is great for encouraging students to think about decimal place value concepts, but it also has the dual purpose of encouraging thinking about probability. 

Whole Class

When introducing this activity with students as a whole class, ask them related problem solving questions such as:

  1. What would be the largest number you could create?
  2. What would be the smallest number you could create?
  3. If I my number so far is 99_ and the Robot’s is _49, can the Robot beat me?  How could you change the Robot’s number so it would be possible to beat me?  What would the Robot have to roll to beat me?
  4. If I roll a 4 as my first number, where should I place it?   Why?  What are my chances of rolling a larger number?  What are my chances of rolling a smaller number?
  5. If I roll a 7 as my first number, where should I place it?  Why?  What are my chances of rolling a smaller number?  What are my chances of rolling a larger number?

Play a few rounds as a whole class versus the Robot or as two teams in a competition.  Encourage your students to discuss their strategies for number placement.

Note:  If using an interactive whiteboard, you may want to use the Zoom feature in your browser to enlarge the game for better viewing.

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Decimal Darts

Posted on : 05-11-2010 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : Decimals


Decimal DartsThe website:


I love games that ask students to problem solve using several different skill sets at once.  In this game of Decimal Darts, students are asked to visualize, estimate, and use logical reasoning.   Balloons are placed at random intervals along a number line marked by random beginning and ending numbers.  Students then need to enter a number that they believe represents the location of a balloon along the number line.  A dart is thrown to pop the balloon.  Students then move on to the next balloon or re-adjust their answers if the dart missed.  The challenging aspect of this game is that the balloons are not placed at predictable fixed intervals, and the beginning and ending points are also varied.

Whole Class:

Decimal Darts makes a great whole class competition.  Divide your class in half and use two player mode to have students compete to pop the most balloons.  Be sure to alternate which team begins each game since seeing one dart thrown creates a significant advantage.

Center Time:

Decimal Darts would also make an excellent center activity for an upper elementary unit on estimation.  Partners could use two player mode to compete or one player mode to complete the activity together by discussing and justifying their estimates.

Note:  If using Decimal Darts on an interactive whiteboard, you may want to use the Zoom feature in your browser to enlarge the game for better viewing.

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