Sunday, June 9, 2013

Place Value Fun


I mentioned in our weekly wrap up that Morgan was overwhelmed for a bit with place value as high as trillion & so we'd made a number line on our driveway with chalk. He used it all week & was really pleased with being able to check his own work & decide if he'd made mistakes or not. However, it's winter here in Australia. For Tasmania that means our rainy season. Lots & lots of rain. The kind of rain where you wonder if you'll ever dry out. We don't complain though because our summers can be very very dry.

Bottom line, our chalk line kept getting washed away despite being under the carport. One day, while it was cold & drizzly last week Morgan wrote his own number line on scrap paper to double check his work because he felt pretty certain he'd missed a digit somewhere. Which reminded me of how I taught them about place value in the first place way back before we used math curriculum. We learned thousands by playing a lovely game called The Place Value Game. Everything about it was simplistic which is what made it so much fun for them. They begged to play this game over breakfast, lunch, & dinner every single day!

This weekend I decided to make up a couple of new game boards that went considerably higher. While Jayden has only learned place value as high as Hundred Thousand I figure jumping right into trillion will be no big deal, especially with our game board, for him. That way, when he does reach the higher place values it'll be no big deal for him. That happens a lot, at least in our house. When the older sibling learns something the younger one jumps on for the ride.

I chose to make the board colourful for a few reasons. The biggest one being that when reading out such a long number it helps them to quickly realise they are entering a new place value. This is how we set up our chalk line & when we read out the number we moved from one coloured section to the other. Easy Peasy. There's also the fact that I thrive on colour, as does Morgan, & so I made it super colourful because I wanted to.

I made another board that goes to Hundred Trillion as well, because honestly once you've hit trillion it's no big deal to just go a bit farther anyway. Morgan did a few problems this week with hundred trillion & felt comfortable just adding the extra digits to his number line in the correct place.

Now, if you're not familiar with the Place Value Game it's really simple. All you need is a copy of the game board above for each person playing, a pencil for each person, & dice. We use to play with just one, but a group of dice would work well when you have this many digits to get to. You could break down the amount of numbers needed by the amount of people playing & let each person roll a specific number of dice. It's pretty flexible to be honest & depends on how long or short you want the game to go for.

Once the dice have been rolled you fill in your number line. You can place them in any order you want, & throw out one number {the black box on the end}. When we played with smaller numbers, such as to thousand, we had one die that was rolled at a time. We took turns & each number had to be placed into the number line before it was rolled again. It evens the playing field a lot for someone who might be a beginner & thinking to associate the bigger numbers with the far left side of the number line.

Going with 2 dice for the bigger game board would still keep the playing field reasonably equal & allow you to keep the game moving at a reasonably quick pace. Just remember not to add the digits together but instead to use them as individuals. Another option might be to give each person playing 3 dice. Have each person roll the dice & choose to fill in three same coloured sections: green, purple, orange, blur, OR red. Then everyone rolls again, & so on. You could still choose to throw out one of those digits into the trash box & reroll that one die to attempt for a higher number.

Like I said the game is pretty simplistic & easy adapted to whatever situation you find yourself in. I also plan to keep a few of these on hand for Morgan to use as a reference guide when he's doing his math. He likes to write the number down in his book & then check with the line to be sure he's gotten the correct answer. This will allow him to do that without having to dash outside in this crazy blustery weather we're having!

Trillion Board Game PDF
Hundred Trillion Board Game PDF


Mel said...

This looks good. Maths Online explains place value very's just a matter of practice. Math games are great!

Nancy Ann said...

That is really, really neat!! Thanks for this Kendra!!