Serving Up Place Value with Straws

Teaching place value is certainly a building block of math instruction and using items such as place value charts, simple manipulatives, and printables can help to create a deeper understanding so that when decimals are introduced in later grades, students can easily add their prior knowledge.

Place value doesn't have to be super confusing or involve a lot of expensive manipulatives! Grab a box of straws and get the learning started!

What is place value and how do you teach it?

The official definition of place value of a number is “The value of where the digit is in the number.”

When starting out with basic place value concepts in kindergarten or first grade, having hands-on learning to be able to “trade” items for a higher value can help to strengthen that understanding.

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Math Games Bundle

6 math products that will be perfect for students in grades K-6!

See it HERE.

Inexpensive Place Value Manipulative Idea:

Don’t you love when you pull out a box of manipulatives, only to find half of them missing?  They were lost under desks, cabinets, and bookshelves along the way most likely.  They got great use and lots of learning occurred, but that doesn’t help you get through the end of the year when you need them at that point.

Here is a fun and super inexpensive way to use the same idea to get you to the last day of school without breaking the bank and teach place value along the way:  all you need are a box of straws and some scissors!

Step 1: Snip off pieces of the straws to make ONES.

Step 2: Use the remainder as TENS.

Easy peasy!

Need a way to store them?

I love these simple decorated boxes – and even cuter are these little plastic cups to hold the ones.  Pop one of the cups into the box and it becomes a handy storage area for your manipulatives!

Place value doesn't have to be super confusing or involve a lot of expensive manipulatives! Grab a box of straws and get the learning started!

Place it right at your math center and hands on learning has never been so colorful or fun.

Place value doesn't have to be super confusing or involve a lot of expensive manipulatives! Grab a box of straws and get the learning started!

Another option? 

How about a divided dish plate with a lid?   Toss your ones in the smaller sections and your tens (and maybe even pipe cleaners to bundle them) in the large section.  Each table group in your class gets one plate to work from and everything goes back in the plate with the lid secured before stacking on the shelf.  These are particularly nice because they will stack nicely on top of one another too!

Place value doesn't have to be super confusing or involve a lot of expensive manipulatives! Grab a box of straws and get the learning started!

You can also stick to the standard place value disks, blocks, dice, and flip charts too!

Place Value Chart Printables

Need a decimal place value chart? Here is a quick list of a few resources to help you out:

You might want to check out:

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Place Value Worksheets

Place Value Games

Place Value Anchor Chart Examples

Love this basic place value anchor chart from Teaching with a Mountain View!

Place value doesn't have to be super confusing or involve a lot of expensive manipulatives! Grab a box of straws and get the learning started!

How about Perry the Place Value Robot? Love it!

Place value doesn't have to be super confusing or involve a lot of expensive manipulatives! Grab a box of straws and get the learning started!

What are some other ways you like to teach place value in your classroom? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments below! #sharingiscaring

~Charity

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