Place Value Palooza

When I started writing this post, I was tempted to call it "Place Value Palooza Part 0 Tens 2 Ones. I just can't help myself- every time I hear a number, I am silently breaking into groups of tens and ones. I guess that's what you get after you wrap up a big unit on place value. The good news is that I think my little learners are decomposing lots of numbers too!

Here's a peek at some of the things we have been doing together to perfect place value! To warm-up to tens and ones, we used connecting cubes or foam cubes to build numbers. We practice tens and ones every single morning during calendar so my little learners had a giant head start! I am so happy to say that we whizzed through this. 

This slide is from one of our projectable lessons. 


The little learners were thrilled to try out some new centers too! I was eagerly surprised that they thought the Place Value Pour and Write Center was "magic!" I accidentally didn't explain that each game piece had 2 sides, but the magic of getting different numbers each pour was the best part! This center is FREE so just click on one of the pictures to grab it for your classroom!



We also practiced counting on with this adorable center! I just stuck a tiny magnet on the back of each penguin and igloo. All of them fit perfectly onto an oil drip pan. This kept them organized, and my kids were delighted to hold it up when they matched up every penguin! Yayyy!



Counting on and back by 10 is another concept we practice during our calendar routine so this was easy for them to understand. Remember "10 Less up to the Lights!" and "10 More to the Floor!" Here is one of our favorite lesson warm-ups and practice activities:


Comparing numbers was the last skill on our to-do list. As I was planning, there was some bad news and some good news. Want the bad news first?  I knew I was going to be absent a day, and this was a really important skill. Ready for the good news? The projectable lesson made it super simple for a substitute to follow my plans. I always print the slides from my lessons and keep them in my planning book. I know exactly what the lesson will look like, what assessment we will use, and what work mat we have to help learners to who need more help. They are my favorite plans, and here is what they look like in my planning book:

To help with comparing numbers, I realized some of my little learners needed a reference. That's how "My Little Helper for Math" came to be. This chart allowed everyone to have a little 100 chart and a set of ten frames on their desk. (We will be using the addends of 10 with our next unit). I also copied a black and white version to send with homework so they have a "Little Helper" at home too!



Our grand finale was a Cocoa Comparison Craftivity! It involved decomposing numbers into tens and ones, visually representing the numbers, and comparing them using words and symbols...and best of all it involved marshmallows! Their projects were beautiful. This little mathematician LOVES numbers! I am not surprised that she decorated her paper with even more math. She knows how to melt her teacher's heart!





I am "1 hundred, 0 tens, 0 ones" percent thrilled with how we tackled place value! All of these lessons, centers, and activities are available in my TPT store. Just click on a picture if you are interested in learning more about one of my products :) Happy Teaching Friends!

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How to WORKOUT in math

This has become the year of math for me. When I decided to do a major math makeover at the beginning of year, I knew my centers needed some attention! In the past, I had 5 math centers that I was constantly trying to update. That meant a lot of prep for me and a lot of overcrowding for my little learners at the centers. 

When giving my lessons an overhaul, I began structuring all of them like a sporting event. Every day we have a warm-up, a brain stretch, a pep talk, huddle up partner time, practice time, and a cool down. (You can learn more about my lessons here.) I realized we also needed some time to practice what we learned, build endurance, and become more flexible in our thinking. This is how my WORKOUT centers came to be! 

I pitched the idea to my little learners in September, and we have been loving math centers since. Here's what I emphasized: A daily WORKOUT is important! It might take a little time and it could be challenging, but it makes you stronger. You can WORKOUT with a friend, or you can WORKOUT alone. You pick the WORKOUT that seems right for you! 

I made this poster to help my little learners remember each center as they were introduced. There are also labels for each of my center bins that you can grab here. I rolled out 1 or 2 each day.


Here's what you can find at our WORKOUT centers:

Working with numbers is a place where my little learners do number puzzles and games. This is a great place to use games you have stored in your closet and can never find time to play! I rotate the activities throughout the year to practice number recognition, addition, subtraction, geometry, time, money, etc. 




On my own is a written activity that students complete independently. They may work on this at their desks or with clipboards. They just grab their paper and any manipulatives needed for the job. Before the end of each unit, I require all my little learners to complete this job. I use it as an assessment. 

Read about math is a center for, you guessed it, reading about math. I am in the process of creating math book templates so they can write their own math stories here too! It's so simple to set up, and I just love watching my little learners relaxing and reading during math!




Keep it up is the place where I put all of the games we have played together. These are usually partner games so little learners can choose a game and play together. It's an easy way to review learned skills and build fluency. We have exciting new centers and some old favorites here too!


Here are some of our favorite activities right now from Keep it Up! Just click on the pictures to check them out in my store.





On your mark is a center for building fluency. Little learners complete "math sprinting" activities to see how quickly and accurately they can solve problems. We are currently loving our hundred pocket chart race to fill in all of the numbers to 100. And we also can't get enough of Ninja Math Master from Amy N. I just laminated a set of her cards with matching answer keys. My little learners set timers for one minute to see how many problems they can solve, and then their partners check their work. 




Using manipulatives is always a classroom favorite! This is where students use linking cubes, tangrams, coins, clocks, measurement tools, counting bears and frogs, or other goodies! We work on number recognition, basic operations, patterns, geometry, time, and money throughout the year. I keep each set of manipulatives inside a pencil box and each set of task cards on a binder ring. When students come they grab one pencil box and one set of cards and take them to their desk.

Little learners love the addition architect center, and it's only $1 in my store. It's a super activity for decomposing 10. Just click on the picture to find it.



And then there was one....the Teacher table. I use this center to reteach and review. I can also use it for quick assessments or to teach an enrichment activity to a small group. There are also days when there is nothing better than sitting down and playing a game with your little learners!



When I met with parents at conferences recently, almost all of them told me how much their children love math! I know our math WORKOUT has made them more confident in the mathematical skills and made them realize how fun math can be! 

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