We are learning about place value right now (as I suspect many of you are) and I wanted to share a quick little game I played with my students -- The Place Value Game.
I got the idea for this game from my most favorite math resource from Marilyn Burns,A Collection of Math Lessons From Grades 3-6
. She wrote about it using whole numbers, but since we are dealing with decimals to the thousandths right now, I switched it up.
The object is simple. Using a die and a four space game board, the students compete to create the largest number possible. Each student sets up the board like so:
Then, they take turns rolling the die. Every roll needs to be placed somewhere on the game board. They can discard one roll, but that is it. The students really need to employ a bit of strategy in how they are going to place the numbers in order to create the greatest number. To push the math vocabulary a bit farther, I required the students to talk through the place values that they were placing the numbers into.
Finally, when the game was done, the students had to compare the two numbers that were created.
What was interesting to me was the thought-processes the students were going through as they were playing the game. I could really see who had a grasp on what the place values actually meant and who was still confused. One group of three actually stopped playing before the game was officially done because they understood that no matter what roll would take place, the winner was already decided (because of the placement choices they previously made) It really was a nice little game.
I concluded the game with them writing a paragraph explaining the best strategy to use in order to win the game. This provided me with an informal assessment of their place value understanding....so all in all, I think it was successful!
What do you do to drive home the concept of place value to your students?