Place Value Activity Cards


With the release of Math Pack 29 recently, we have enjoyed bringing you some ideas and resources for teaching place value. Particularly 2 digit place value.

Presenting and engaging with place value in many different ways is a great way to reinforce a solid foundation for understanding numbers. Being able to first manipulate materials and then represent them pictorially and numerically is so powerful for our learners. 

I have found that approaching math with the same basic lesson structure, whether it be whole group, small group or 1:1 with students works beautifully. This structure can unfold in one sitting, or be spread out over days, depending on how your curriculum content is laid out.

It is:

  1. model - here we see hands-on equipment, demonstrating the action, linking to past learning and real world
  2. picture - here we see a visual representation of that action - it could be in a book, on an animation, with game cards, or students drawing themselves on whiteboards or paper. Pictures can also be symbols.
  3. writing/recording - here we see the picture stage broken down further into written symbols (words or numbers) and the formal process of recording our thinking in math

Time and time again this structure has worked for me - it can be applied to any lesson or activity you are teaching. It reflects perfectly the lesson formats of:

  1. whole group
  2. small group
  3. independent 
or 
  1. I do
  2. We do
  3. You do

Let's look at one of our 2 digit place value activities with this structure in mind.

Show Me the Number provides you with activity cards showing numbers and a visual representation of partitioned tens and ones for students to break the number down.

Model 2 Digit Place Value

Project the pdf file up on the board and have students model the numbers with equipment. If using in guided math, ask students to model each number with blocks at the table.

Creating Pictures to Represent 2 Digit Place Value

Using the cards as write-n-wipe cards, your students are creating a visual representation of each number. Here they color the pictures to show how each number is partitioned. You could also ask them to draw using sticks and squares on a whiteboard.

Here, ask your little learners to check their work with a friend. The checking is important so they are also using the pictures to read the numbers back.

Asking them to come back to read the number they’ve made in tens and ones format, will reinforce their growing ability to unitize.

Writing numbers 

Students can record their cards onto their worksheet, and link their experiences of the numbers with equipment to written symbols. 


Following this process, for this and any of our other printable math games is a simple way for you to create a whole lesson from one resources and is a pedagogically sound method for supporting students in their jump from concrete to abstract.

If your students have moved on to 3 digit place value, our Show Me the Number cards are also available for big numbers!

Place Value Craft

Students love mathtivities after all the hard math thinking is done! We just made one for place value - The Place Value Pool!

Craft in the Classroom?!

Absolutely! In good balance with solid teaching and learning, though. A paper craft can provide an opportunity for students to process, in a different way, a concept they have explored. I have found that a craft provides an essential component of downtime where learners can sit, think and process as they cut and assemble. Think about when you are learning something new. Often in the input and exploration stage you are taking in a lot of information and the mind swirls. It is later, when you are doing something quite structured or familiar with clear steps, that your mind wonders, opens, expands and concepts become clearer. Craft is just one of many creative experiences that might provide this processing time for your students.


And while we're here talking about place value, take a look at this amazing book. We saw it on Instagram, shared by a classroom teacher. It has so many valuable explanations for kids on the concepts surrounding place value. 


You can find it through our Amazon affiliate link, here: Place Value by David Adler and Edward Miller. 

And don’t forget to pop back through our previous posts on place value or on TPT HERE.

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