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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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Place Value Games

Posted on : 07-06-2010 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : Place Value


The website:

This fantastic resource for interactive whiteboard tools has been circulating on Twitter.  The site provides excellent manipulatives, gameboards, workmats and storyboards for K-4 classrooms.  It takes time to discover all of the hidden gems, so I’ve highlighted an activity below that you won’t want to miss!

Classroom Applications:

Choose the Place Values Millions Workmat and Number Cubes Manipulatives

Game #1:  place-value-gamesPlace seven number cubes on the screen.  Choose Roll All Cubes. (Note:  The number 10 is on one face of the cube, so some cubes many need to be re-rolled individually by selecting the cube and clicking on the icon in the upper right corner.)  Challenge your students to place the number cubes on the workmat to create the largest number possible or the smallest number possible.  Ask your students to think about place values by creating a number between two specific guide post numbers such as three million five hundred thousand and four million.

Game #2:  Place seven number cubes on the workmat.  Choose Roll All Cubes.  Have your students build a number that you describe using the cubes.  Ask them to place one cube at a time on the workmat to create a number according to your directions.  For example:  Put the six in the tens place.  Put the five in the hundred thousands place.  Put the one in the hundreds place. etc.

Game #3:  Place one number cube on the screen.  Roll the number cube.  Tell your students that their challenge is to create the largest number possible (or the smallest number possible) by placing the numbers you roll in specific place values on the work mat.  However, the students will only see one number at a time, and they will have to place that number on the mat before they will be allowed to see the next number.  Once a number is placed, it can not be removed.  Vary the game by rolling two or three number cubes at the same time and having your students place several numbers at once.

All of the above games can be modified for different levels by using fewer number cubes, by using more number cubes or by choosing the Place Values Billions workmat.

As with all interactive whiteboard activities, be sure to encourage all students to answer by using paper and pencil or individual whiteboards as described here.


Understanding the Meaning of Place Value

Posted on : 09-06-2009 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : Place Value


The websites:


Place Value PBS Game Screen ShotClassroom applications:

1)       Whole class activity:  Access the first site and challenge the whole class to build a number larger than Hacker’s using the given digits.  Have students share their answers and justify their choices based on their knowledge of place value.  Then, as a class, answer the online question.

Identifying Place Value Practice

Posted on : 08-06-2009 | By : InteractiveEducator | In : Place Value


The website:


Mystery NumbersClassroom applications:

1)      Whole Class Practice:  Use the website to build numbers by placing each digit in the correct place value location.


2)      Individual Activity:  Have each student write down a number of their choice. (Set parameters for how many digits the number should contain.)  Then, have each student write directions, similar to the whole class practice activity, that someone else could follow to create that number by placing digits in the correct place value locations.