Monday, October 13, 2014

Place Value Manipulatives

When teaching math, you should always have a supply of manipulatives to use.  Students have a hard time visualizing, so you have to help them by showing them.

I keep these base 10 blocks in my room all year.  I pull them out for many lessons.  So far, I've used them in all the standards we've taught so far - NBT1, NBT2, NBT3, and NBT4.


I keep them in baggies, so I can easily pass out blocks to the students when needed.  Each baggie has hundreds, tens, and ones.  The students can just use whatever ones they need and keep the rest in the bag.

Another thing I love is these foam place value dice.  They are quiet when rolled across a desk.  Every teacher loves that, right?  I use these when practicing expanded form.  The students can easily see the different place values.  Our school has 2 sets of these.  I would love to have more so partner groups could use them at the same time, but I'll take what I can get.  These are definitely better for whole group instruction than the place value dice I'm showing you below.


I also have these smaller place value dice.  Unfortunately, they make A LOT of noise on desks.  One way I've tried to eliminate the noise level is by asking students to sit on the floor and roll the dice on the carpet.  Definitely quieter that way.  I have a few sets of these dice, so more students are able to use these at the same time.  I've run stations using these and the foam dice.  Both sets of place value dice are better than regular dice because the students can see the difference between the hundreds, tens, and ones.  With regular dice, students have to already have an understanding of place value in order to recognize why they work.


If you aren't using any of these manipulatives in your room when teaching place value, you need to get yourself some now!

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What is a must-have manipulative you use in math?


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