Ask just about any teacher and they will tell you the most important math skill is place value. I know that in my classroom we spend more time on place value than anything else for most of the year. If a student doesn’t understand it, then almost everything else in math will fall apart. With that, I continue to have my students practice their skills throughout the year. Below is a round up of the winter activities I like to use. The great thing about these activities are that they can be used with 2, 3 or 4 digit numbers so it is super easy to differentiate for your individual students.
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Place Value Crafts
Who doesn’t love doing a craft? I love this cute little snowman or this fun winter place value mobile. I have my students roll dice to find their number after I hand out cards with numbers I have written. This allows for me to ensure they are getting the number they need. Having students show the numbers in different ways really gets them to think about how the numbers are made. These snowmen also make an adorable hallway display or bulletin board to warm up your learn space.
Place Value Task Cards
Task cards seem to be everywhere right now! I am loving all the creative options I am seeing. I always have a few sets that I can pull out for students to use during math. Sometimes, I have students record them in their math journals and have them turn them in using one of the apps we have on our class ipads. Sometimes, I use a recording sheet. Another fun game to do with task cards is scoot.
Here are some links to some FREE task cards from my friends on TPT:
Hot Cocoa Place Value by Megan McCall-Mindful Matters
Mystery Number Place Value Scoot Task Cards: Build Reasoning & Math Vocabulary by Math Viking
Roll A Number
I am always trying to save on copies, and I also want to give my students ample opportunities to practice place value. So I taught my students how to make this chart in their math notebook. It’s so simple and is an easy way for them to practice breaking apart different numbers and showing them. I found these great dice that include 0-9 which allows for endless combinations (rather than just number to six). I have students pull this out in math workshop or as an early finisher. I challenge them to try to make the largest number possible, which keeps them highly engaged.
Place Value Puzzles
When I first started out with puzzles I hand made all of them on sheets of paper and cut them out. The kids went crazy for them. They would beg to do them, the problem was they would figure all of them out so then they wouldn’t really be thinking. That’s where seasonal puzzles came in. You can grab my 2 and 3 digit snowman here.
Comparing Numbers Game
One game I love is this comparing numbers game. It is so easy to use and students are really into it. We play it all year long and students are still asking for it at the end of the year. We have been playing it for years just using a deck of cards with the face cards removed, but any number card will do. I created these cards and we love them. Each student will draw the 2 or 3 cards depending on the size of number you want. This is where they have to think. They want to put their numbers in order to get the largest number. The player with the largest number gets all of the cards. The winner is the player who has the most cards at the end of the game.
Do you love all these ideas and want printables that go with them You can check out my bundle here. It includes all of my products (free task cards can be found at the links above). I also added a bonus file that can only be found in the bundle that includes the instructions for each game.