Place value is an important skill in math and one that we practice a lot in the primary grades. Today I’m excited to share with you one of my favorite games that focuses on place value and it’s one you can play all year long!

This game is called Digit Place and this can be played whole group, small group, or with a partner. I recommend playing whole group many times before moving this into a partner game. Digit Place is also a great Morning Meeting Activity and could also be used as a math warm-up or a game to play when you have a few extra minutes.

Digit Place Game Instructions:

Here’s how you play:

You make 3 columns on the white board – Guess | Digits | Place

I also put up numbers 0-9 so we can cross off numbers after we eliminate them – there is a lot of strategy in this game too.

You think of a secret number that the kids will have to figure out – this can be 2-digit, 3-digit, 4-digit, etc – depending on your class’s needs.

Your students will guess a number. *Let’s say my secret number is 352. They guess 201. I will then write their guess in the guess column and write a 1 in the digits and a 0 in the place because they got one of the digits correct (2), but that digit was not in the correct place.

We keep going until we get to the correct number

*This game has some strategy to it too. I will often have students figure out if the guess all of one number it can help us quickly figure out what the 3 digits are. For example, if they guess 999 and I say 0 numbers are correct – then we know 9 isn’t one of the numbers.

Digit Place FREEBIE

Grab this FREE Digit Place Recording Sheet printable! This is great for small groups or partners and can be used as a math game in stations once students get the hang of it. Click HERE to get your FREE recording sheet!

Introducing multiplication to my class is one of my favorite math units to teach! I love giving them opportunities to explore the different multiplication math strategies and then finding the one that works best for them!

Multiplication Math Strategies:

Below you will see four different multiplication math strategies that your students might use. Each student will be in a different spot with their math strategies. For example, some students need the concrete/manipulatives and equal groups will be best for them. Other students might be ready for skip counting or repeated addition. Students can use a variety of strategies and will move through them at different rates when they are ready. I highly recommend letting them explore these strategies first so they understand the concept of multiplication before having them memorize their multiplication facts.

Equal Groups:

Draw out circles for the number of groups that you have. This problem represents 6 groups of 4. Then, in each group put 4 dots. Then, students will count them. Students can count these in a variety of ways. Some students may count by 1s, 2s, 4s. I recommend having them write the number they are on below each circle to help them keep track. After counting by 2’s, the students came to the answer of 24.

Arrays:

Arrays are another great visual strategy. Again this problem represents 6 groups of 4. In terms of arrays, this means 6 rows of 4. So students will draw out 6 rows of 4 using “x’s.” Then students count the total to find the answer of 24.

Repeated Addition:

For repeated addition, students will still need to find the answer for 6 groups of 4. So they start by adding 4 six times. Doubles come into play with this, which can make it easier for students to quickly add up the numbers and come to the answer of 24.

Skip Counting:

For students who are strong with skip counting it can be a great strategy for multiplication. For 6 x4 – students need to skip count 4 six times – 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24.

Multiplication FREEBIE

Grab these FREE Multiplication Practice pages for your students! These are great for homework, formative assessments, independent practice, and more! Click HERE to get your FREEBIE!

Extra Multiplication Practice

If you are interested in more multiplication practice for your students, check out my resources below.

Please note Amazon affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Today I’ll be rounding up a variety of teaching ideas that you can use during the month of January. I will share some engaging books, activities, and a FREEBIE that you can use with your class.

January Book Suggestions:

Here are five fun books that you can share with your class during the month of January.

One of my favorite greetings for Morning Meeting is the Snowball Greeting, which can also be used to help group or partner students. For this snowball activity, each student will need a piece of blank paper and they’ll write their name in the middle of it. Then, students will stand in a circle and crumple their paper up (making it a snowball). Then, you’ll announce snowball fight and students will toss their paper/snowball into the middle of the circle. Students will then go into the middle to grab a snowball (you’ll want to go over expectations for this so it doesn’t turn into chaos). Students will read the name on the snowball they grabbed and that will then be their partner for the activity or discussion. You can also have students continue to do this after each question so they get a different partner to work with each time.

January Resource Suggestions:

Here are three of my favorite resources to use during the month of January…

January Morning Meeting Activity Slides– You’ll have your entire month of January planned out for Morning Meeting Activities with this easy-to-use resource! Includes activities like Noggle, Word Creator, Story Starter, Quick Draw, and more! Click HERE to grab these for your class.

Winter Word Problems – I love using word problems in the classroom since they hit so many skills (addition, subtraction, strategies, problem solving, and more). These winter themed word problems are great for independent practice, can be used as an Around the Room Activity, and more! Get these word problems HERE for your math students! (Digital and Print and Digital Bundle are also available in my store).

Winter Making Words – Students love this activity and it is perfect for a literacy station! Students cut up the letters and use those letters to make as many words as they can. They also are working to figure out what the mystery word is using all of their letters! Grab it HERE for your class.

January Classroom Ideas FREEBIE:

These FREE Winter Writing Prompts are perfect to use in your classroom during the month of January! This FREEBIE includes 4 different prompts total and cover narrative, opinion, and procedural writing. These engaging prompts are great to use as a writing warm-up, for homework, literacy stations, and more! Grab this FREEBIE >>> HERE.

Math has always been one of my favorite subjects to teach. I think one of the main reasons why I enjoy teaching math so much is the variety of strategies that can be used to solve a math problem. After reading this post you’ll learn four different subtraction math strategies that your students could use to help boost their understanding and math problem solving abilities.

Subtraction Math Strategies:

Below you will see four different subtraction math strategies that your students might use. Each student will be in a different spot with their math strategies. For example, some students need the concrete/manipulatives and place value strategy will be best for them. Other students might be really good at breaking numbers apart and using them in different ways – then break apart or expanded might be best for them. With math strategies there is not a one size fits all type of mentality. Students can use a variety of strategies and will move through them at different rates when they are ready.

Place Value Strategy:

Draw out how many there are to start with – 95 Then, take away or cross out how many are being taken away – 56. Start by crossing out the 5 tens for 50. Then, you have 5 ones and you can’t take away 6 from 5 so, take a ten and regroup it into 10 ones. (Circle the ten and change it into the ten ones (dots)). Now, you can take away the 6 ones. Then, count what is left – 10, 20, 30, and 9 more so 39.

Empty Number Line Strategy:

First, draw an empty number line. Then, start at the number that you’re beginning with – 95. 95 will go on the right side of the empty number line because you are subtracting so your number will be getting smaller. Then, 56 can be taken away a few different ways. In this example, they first took away 50 and got to 45. Then, took away 5 and got to 40 (friendly number) and one more and got to 39. Students could also take away all 6 ones. The 50 could also be broken down into – 20, 20, 10 – 10, 10, 10, 10, 10 – 30, 20 – 40, 10 – etc.

Break Apart Strategy:

For break apart, leave the first number together since this is the number that you are starting with. Then, break apart the number that you are taking away. So, 56 would break into 50 and 6 (expanded notation). Then, 95 – 50 = 45 and 45 – 6 = 39.

Expanded Form Strategy:

First, change each number into expanded notation. 95 = 90 + 5 and 56 = 50 + 6. Then, subtract the ones from the ones. You can’t take away 6 from 5. So, you take ten from the 90 to add to the ones. When you take ten from the 90, the 90 turns into 80. Then, add the ten you took to your ones 10 + 5 = 15. Now, you can subtract. 15 – 6 = 9 and 80 – 50 = 30. Then put the numbers back together 30 + 9 = 39.

Subtraction Practice:

If you’re looking for some subtraction practice pages for your students to practice these strategies – I have worksheets already created for you. Best part is – they are differentiated into 3 levels! These Subtraction Word Problem Printables are great for independent practice, homework, formative assessments, and more. Check them out here >>> Subtraction Differentiated Word Problem Worksheets.

Math has always been one of my favorite subjects to teach. I think one of the main reasons why I enjoy teaching math so much is the variety of strategies that can be used to solve a math problem. After reading this post you’ll learn four different addition math strategies that your students could use to help boost their understanding and math problem solving abilities.

Variety of Math Strategies:

While in math there is typically one right answer – there are many different ways you can get there. When I was in school I was good at math and got the right answer, but had no idea how or why. For addition, my teacher taught me one way – with carrying over and I did and I got the answer. But, I didn’t really understand the “why” behind the math. What I love about teaching math now is we let kids figure it out for themselves. We give kids a chance to explore multiple strategies and find the right one for them. There is no more one size fits all. I wish I had learned math this way when I was younger (and please know I’m not faulting my past teachers – this is just the way it was taught then).

Addition Math Strategies:

Below you will see four different addition math strategies that your students might use. Each student will be in a different spot with their math strategies. For example, some students need the concrete/manipulatives and place value strategy will be best for them. Other students might be really good at breaking numbers apart and using them in different ways – then break apart or expanded might be best for them.

Students can also move through the strategies. One student might start with place value strategy, but as they become more comfortable in math they then move on to empty number line or one of the others. Students aren’t pigeon holed into their strategy. Think of it almost like a buffet where they can try the different strategies and see which one works best for them.

Place Value Strategy:

Start by drawing out the place value model using base 10 blocks for each number. Students would draw 3 tens sticks and 9 ones dots to represent 39 and then below 2 tens sticks and 8 ones dots to represent 28. Then, count the ones. There are 17 ones. Since there are more than 10, you would regroup. Circle the ten ones and draw an arrow to the new ten that you made over in the tens area. Then count up your tens (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60) and 7 ones and your answer will be 67.

Empty Number Line Strategy:

For empty number line strategy you start with an empty line. Students have a choice and can either start at 39 or 28. This is a great learning opportunity to talk about what is more efficient. It would be easier to count up 28 then 39. So on the left side of the number line, place the number 39. Then, for counting there are multiple options. We want to avoid students counting all 28 by ones so they can break it into tens and ones. Some students might start at 39 and jump 10 to 49 and 10 to 59 and then count up 8 ones to get to 67. Some students might start at 39 and jump 20 to 59 and then 8 ones to get to 67. There are multiple ways students can use the number line to help them solve the problem.

Break Apart Strategy:

For the break apart strategy it is just what it sounds like – students are going to break the numbers apart into tens and ones. 39 breaks into 30 and 9. 28 breaks into 20 and 8. Students will then add 30 and 20 and get 50. Then, add 9 and 8 and get 17. Then they’ll add 50 and 17 to get 67.

Expanded Form Strategy:

This is one of my favorite strategies and it is very similar to the break apart strategy. Students will start by writing both numbers in expanded form. 39 expands to 30 + 9 and 28 expands to 20 + 8. These numbers will be written vertically on top of each other (ones on top of ones, tens on top of tens). Then students add straight down. 9 + 8 = 17. The student will write down 7 in the ones spot and then move the 10 up to the 10s spot. Then add 10 + 30 + 20 = 60. Then, put the numbers back together 60 + 7 = 67.

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience.

Place value is an important foundation skill for all students to master. It sets them up for success as they continue their journey through mathematics. After reading this post, you’ll have 8 ideas for teaching place value.

#1 – Place Value Books

I love using books to introduce new math topics! Here are a few of my favorites books to use when teaching place value.

Manipulatives are so important for students to use when building math skills. Place value is no exception! I always have base-10 blocks on hand for my students to use when we are working on place value and other math skills. The blocks are very popular and some people also like using the place value discs to model different numbers.

#3 – Shorthand Base-10 Trick

In addition to using manipulatives, I like to have my students draw out their base-10 or place value model for numbers. But, I don’t like them to spend hours trying to draw the ones, tens, hundreds, etc. Many of them like to try to draw each teeny tiny square within the hundreds block – we don’t have time for that lol. So below in the picture you’ll see the short hand I teach them. This is much more efficient. Students draw a dot for ones, a stick for tens, a square for hundreds, and a square with a “th” in the middle for thousands.

#4 – Food

Who doesn’t love food? We all know students are more engaged when food is involved. Base-10 blocks and drawings are great, but you can also incorporate food into the mix. Students can represent numbers using Saltine crackers for the hundreds, pretzel sticks for the tens, and M&Ms or some kind of round candy for the ones. And of course when they are done they can have a taste of their work!

#5 – Teaching Place Value Anchor Charts

I use anchor charts for all math topics including place value. I like to create my anchor charts with my students so they are more engaged and part of the creation process which makes them more likely to refer back to it later. After we create our charts, I hang them where they can see them so they can refer back to them as needed. Here are a few examples of ones I’ve created…

#6 – Differentiate Practice and Homework + FREEBIE

Students will need opportunities to practice and demonstrate their understanding of place value. I like to use these differentiated worksheets for independent practice, homework, and formative assessments! My classes typically have multiple levels of students and these worksheets are differentiated into 3 levels so I can meet the needs of all of my students! These worksheets are available in my TPT store>>> HERE.

I love using a variety of place value activities during my math rotations or stations. These activities are still focused on the standards, but provide opportunities for kids to move around and work with a partner.

Roll and Compare – Students can practice comparing 2-, 3-, or 4-digit numbers using comparison symbols. This game is great to play during rotations or stations.

This is one of my favorite games to play with my students when I am teaching place value. This game can be played whole group – it’s great for a math warm-up or a Morning Meeting Activity and could eventually be played with partners once students get the hang of it.

Here’s how you play:

You make 3 columns on the white board – Guess | Digits | Place

I also put up numbers 0-9 so we can cross off numbers after we eliminate them – there is a lot of strategy in this game too.

You think of a secret number that the kids will have to figure out – this can be 2-digit, 3-digit, 4-digit, etc – depending on your class’s needs.

Your students will guess a number. *Let’s say my secret number is 352. They guess 201. I will then write their guess in the guess column and write a 1 in the digits and a 0 in the place because they got one of the digits correct (2), but that digit was not in the correct place.

We keep going until we get to the correct number

*This game has some strategy to it too. I will often have students figure out if the guess all of one number it can help us quickly figure out what the 3 digits are. For example, if they guess 999 and I say 0 numbers are correct – then we know 9 isn’t one of the numbers.

Math Rotations have easily become my favorite way to teach math! With rotations I am better able to meet the needs of all of my learners, provide practice and review, and continue to teach the same standards in differentiated ways.

I have written multiple blog posts on this topic over the years and wanted to share them with you in one spot so everything will be easy to find.

Math Rotations Blog Posts

The Why Behind Math Rotations – Great background information to see the various benefits of using rotations in your classroom.

Math Rotation Groups – Tips for how to create your groups so that your math block will run smoothly. Includes how I group the students, the number of groups I use, and how I keep the groups flexible to meet my students needs.

Initial Set-Up – In this post, you’ll learn how I set-up, plan, and start Math Rotations in the classroom.

Mini-Lessons – Ideas and tips for mini-lessons to use at the beginning of your math session.

Management Tips – Tips and ideas for how to make sure your rotations run smoothly so you are able to focus on your small groups.

Teacher Time Ideas – In this post, you’ll see a variety of ideas for what you can do with your students when they come to you for the teacher/small group instruction part of the math rotation.

Seat Work Ideas – Ideas for what your students can work on independently during the rotations while you are pulling small groups and students are completing the other parts of the rotation.

Tech Time Ideas – Different apps and websites that you can use during your math time.

Game/Activity Ideas – Engaging activities and games for students to work on individually, with a partner, or with a small group during one of the rotations.

Math Rotations Wrap-Up – A few last minute tips and ideas for resources that can be used during your rotations.

FREE Math Rotations Planner

Math Rotations can seem a little overwhelming at first especially when you are trying to differentiated to meet the needs of all of your students. To help make this easier, I’ve created this digital or printable planning sheet that you can use to plan out your whole rotation for the day – standards, mini-lesson, rotation activities, and differentiated small group activities. This is a FREEBIE that you can sign up for HERE. Happy math planning!

Reviewing content does not have to be boring! Reviewing is necessary and to make it more meaningful we need to make it engaging and fun! Check out five ideas below for fun review games you could use in your classroom. (These games are mainly math focused, but you could use them for any subject matter).

Connect 4 Review Game

I got this idea from Candance (@themeaningfulmiddle on IG). Connect 4 is always a fun game and it can be used to review any type of content! I’ve used it in math and to review classroom expectations. This game can get very competitive and it’s fun to see the different strategies the teams use to win.

To play…

Divide your students up into teams. I typically put 4-5 students on each team.

Each team gets a different color pad of sticky notes. This is where they write their answers.

Create any type of questions (Math, ELA, Grammar. Social Studies, Science, etc). I project these on my Smart Board. This photo is an example from a first grade math review. (This is done ahead a time).

Students will work with their team to answer the question and place their sticky note on the board. The goal is to try to connect 4 horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Students may also place their sticky note in a way that blocks others from connecting 4.

Once a team has connected 4, I draw a line through the four and give the team a point. The team with the most points at the end wins!

This game may get a little rowdy, but they have tons of fun and they are reviewing content all at the same time!

Crack the Code

I created Crack the Code last year as a way to review math content. This game works well with math because the hidden message is uncovered through numbers. You could always use this with different content areas too.

To play…

Create your hidden message. I often make it a fun reward like (YOU GET EXTRA TIME AT RECESS) or something with a special treat.

Then, you create the questions. I typically create around 20. You just want to make sure you have enough to cover all of the letters.

The hidden message is put up on a white board (as seen in the first picture) and I normally show the actual content questions on my Smart Board.

The questions then align to the numbers which help them crack the code. For example, the problem 8 + 7 = ___. Students will get 15 as their answer which corresponds to A. You then fill in the letter A in the 15 number spot of the hidden message.

For students, I have them use white boards for this game. This way each child is engaged and participating. Students will respond on their white boards and then show their answers. We will then discuss, put the letter in the correct spot, and move on to the next question.

Once all of the questions are answered, the hidden message is complete and the kids will find out what it says.

Basketball Review Game

This review game came to be because it tied in perfectly with my basketball room transformation during March Madness!

To play…

Divide your students up into teams. I typically put 3-4 students on each team.

Each team gets a white board to respond to the questions.

Create any type of questions (Math, ELA, Grammar. Social Studies, Science, etc). I project these on my Smart Board. (This is done ahead a time).

Students will work with their team to answer the question. Once each group has answered any team who has the correct answer gets a chance to shoot a basket. (I gave a clear rotation for this so students knew the order and everyone got equal turns).

The basketball shooter would come up to the carpet with one of my tiny basketballs (foam or small ones) and would shoot it into the basketball Easter basket (you can see these on the students tables). If they got the ball in the basket, then their team earned a point. The team with the most points at the end – wins!

I didn’t get very clear pictures of this game, but you can see the basketball hoops used in the photo above!

Horseshoes Review Game

This review game came to be because it tied in perfectly with our Rodeo Day in February and my rodeo room transformation!

To play…

Divide your students up into teams. I divided the class up into two teams.

Each team gets a white board to respond to the questions.

Create any type of questions (Math, ELA, Grammar. Social Studies, Science, etc). I project these on my Smart Board. (This is done ahead a time). You can see an example at the bottom of this paragraph.

Students will work with their team to answer the question. Once each group has answered any team who has the correct answer gets a chance to toss the horseshoe. (I gave a clear rotation for this so students knew the order and everyone got equal turns).

The student would come up to the carpet to throw the horseshoe. If they got it around the pole then their team earned a point (see picture above). The team with the most points at the end – wins! I got my horseshoe game at Amazon.

Saran Wrap Game

I know this game is often played as a holiday game at Christmas time, but it also works well as a review game!

To play:

Teacher sets up the saran wrap ball ahead of time. I included 16 review questions so I had 4 different colors and a total of 16 unifix cubes. I used blue, yellow, green, and orange and had paper that color coordinated.

Then, set up the review problems. I used a simple table and made sure the paper color coordinated to the colors in the saran wrap ball.

Students are each given their own review packet and each group is given a saran wrap ball. I had my students work in groups of 3-4.

One student unravels the saran wrap ball until a cube pops out. If it’s a yellow cube then everyone solves one problem on the yellow page.

This continues until all of the cubes are unwrapped and all of the problems are solved.

During the activity, I would go around to check for understanding and assist as needed while the students were solving the problems.

I hope this ideas are helpful and can make your review time more engaging. I know my students and I both enjoy these games and they definitely are more fun than a boring review packet.

Today is my last blog post for my Math Rotations blog
series! I’ve had so much fun sharing how
I implement Math Rotations with you and hope you have found it helpful. Below I’m sharing a few more tips and a few
resources from my TPT Store that I enjoy using with Math Rotations.

Tips:

Plan – Math Rotations move quickly. The more you plan and prepare ahead of time the more successful Math Rotations will be.

Model, Model, Model – I know I’ve said this in other blog posts, but modeling is key. Students need to know what to do and modeling is the best way to do that!

Differentiate – One of the biggest reasons why I love Math Rotations is it has made differentiation so much easier for me to do each day for each child. Make sure you include this key part in your Math Rotation plans so you are tailoring your instruction to the needs of your students.

Resource Suggestions:

Themed Math Word Problems – I love using these as a part of my Seat Work Rotation. This Bundle includes 9 different sets of story problems geared towards second and third grade. Great way to practice math skills and word problems. You can also buy these story problems individually in my TPT store.

Learning About Line Plots – Includes practice pages and a hands-on activity where students are practicing their measuring and line plot skills. Great for Seat Work and Activity Rotation.

Patterns Task Cards – These task cards go great at the Seat Work Rotation. Includes practice building and answering questions about repeating patterns.

Subtraction Memory – Great game for Game Rotation. Subtraction Memory includes two different sets to help differentiate!

If you missed my past posts from my Math Rotations Blog Series, click below…

Math Rotations can seem a little overwhelming at first especially when you are trying to differentiated to meet the needs of all of your students. To help make this easier, I’ve created this digital or printable planning sheet that you can use to plan out your whole rotation for the day – standards, mini-lesson, rotation activities, and differentiated small group activities. This is a FREEBIE that you can sign up for HERE. Happy math planning!

The four components of my Math Rotations are Teacher Time,
Seat Work, Tech Time, and Game. Today’s post will focus on ideas for the Game
and Activity Rotation. This rotation is
important because it provides a chance for students to practice the skill, it
is often a hands-on type of activity or game, and gives students a chance to
work with a partner or group.

Math Skills Games:

On TPT, many websites, and math resource books you will find all kinds of games that you can use to help students practice and review math skills. I like to use games that are easy for students to play (so they’ll be able to do it independently) and fun! Here are a few examples:

Math Curriculum Games:

Most math curriculum resources also have their own games or center activities as a part of the program. I have used enVisions, Investigations, and Every Day Math programs and all have games that you can use during this time.

Other Hands-On Activities:

I also like to throw in other hands-on activities during this rotation. One of my favorites is the Skittles Graphing Activity. Students each get a bag of Skittles and have to create a bar graph based on the colors of the Skittles. After creating their graph they answer questions about their data.

I also love this activity when teaching area. I got this activity from Blair Turner and it’s her Dream House Activity. Students get to create their own Dream House with their own rooms. They love being creative on this one! Then, after creating their rooms they have to find the area of each room and the total area of their house.

Another great activity that my students have enjoyed is building 2D and 3D shapes with this kit. I got this kit from Scholastic in the teacher area a few years ago with bonus points and they love creating different shapes with it!

Games/Activities Tips:

Model – It is so important to make sure you
model and show them how to do the game or activity. This will make it easier for them to play it
independently so that they are not interrupting your group with questions.

Directions – Leave simple and easy to read
directions with the game. This is
helpful so that if they have a question or forgot how to play, they’ll be able
to figure it out on their own.

Partner Skills – Prior to having students start
rotations I would have a class discussion about how partners should work
together. We would talk about what it
would look like and sound like and create an anchor chart so the expectations
are clear.

If you missed my past posts from my Math Rotations Blog Series,
click below…

Math Rotations can seem a little overwhelming at first especially when you are trying to differentiated to meet the needs of all of your students. To help make this easier, I’ve created this digital or printable planning sheet that you can use to plan out your whole rotation for the day – standards, mini-lesson, rotation activities, and differentiated small group activities. This is a FREEBIE that you can sign up for HERE. Happy math planning!