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Place Value Woes

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    Place Value Woes

    My 2 oldest children are struggling with place value (they are very concrete thinkers). We are in book 3 of the 2nd grade level of Rod & Staff math and still struggling with place value. Any ideas for how to easily practice/explain it in ways that are not abstract? I don't think I have posted this before but please forgive me if have.

    Thank you!

    Heather

    #2
    In our class when we are introducing place value, we use straws (or coffee stir sticks). We put a straw a day onto a cup labeled "ones". When we reach ten, we rubber band those together and move the bunch to a cup labeled "tens". We then count how many straws we have each day and write the number.

    One straw a day can take a long time but the straws and cups strategy can still work. Bind several groups of tens (and even hundreds). Be sure to band the hundreds as ten groups of ten for an accurate visual. Then give a number and have him show you the number with straws! After a few practices it should begin to click.

    Blessings,

    Michelle T

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      #3
      Originally posted by HeatherB View Post
      My 2 oldest children are struggling with place value (they are very concrete thinkers). We are in book 3 of the 2nd grade level of Rod & Staff math and still struggling with place value. Any ideas for how to easily practice/explain it in ways that are not abstract? I don't think I have posted this before but please forgive me if have.

      Thank you!
      Heather

      Hi, Heather.

      Given the math difficulties inherent in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, as you have referenced before, you might want several ways to teach and re-teach.

      1. Cups & Straws
      Michelle T's good idea requires only inexpensive supplies. You can use cups and straw bundles, just as she suggests. Then practice for a few minutes each day with numbers from the lessons.

      2. Pocket Chart
      Using a similar principle, you can create or purchase a pocket chart like these.

      3. Base Ten Blocks
      My daughter struggled with place value for a long time, until we "created" each number with Base Ten Blocks. Begin by having the students create two-digit and three-digit numbers with the blocks. Instruct them to "make" the number from the fewest blocks possible. For example, the student with 2 tens & 3 ones wins over the student with 23 ones. Show how 10 ones can be traded for 1 ten.

      If you purchase enough of each (1's, 10's, 100's) for regrouping, you can practice adding and subtracting with these blocks.

      4. Pennies, Dimes, Dollars

      You can also teach place value with pennies, dimes, and dollars. Create index card "signs" to indicate 1, 10, 100. Obtain rolls of pennies and dimes, along with stacks of one dollar bills. Create 23 cents with the fewest number of coins. Repeat with different amounts of money. Have them try with pennies, then dimes. When they understand these, you can explain that one dollar is the same as one hundred pennies.

      Find something inexpensive for them to purchase at the store (or role play at home). You could play "Bank Teller" or "Store Keeper" and exchange pennies for dimes, dimes for dollars.

      5. Monopoly
      Another idea - play Monopoly with the student as Banker for the 1's, 10's and 100's. Someone else can be in charge of the other denominations. He will need to exchange 10 1's for a 1 and 10 10's for 100.

      6. Daily Demonstrations

      Whether you use straws or blocks, you will want to demonstrate two-digit and three-digit numbers every day. Then have each student create two or three numbers, one at a time, from the manipulatives. As they "see" the place value in action, they might begin to internalize the concept.

      7. Games
      You may have done much of the above already. If so, you might try turning more of these activities into group games, timed races, or personal contests. For example, "How quickly can you form this number from straws?" Chart the time in seconds or minutes. Note improvement over the next few months.


      Long-term
      The key: Realizing that with our children, we may need to keep teaching, showing, reteaching, and practicing "place value" long after the math lessons assume place value is known. But all of the hard work will reap benefits, especially if you can help them understand before they reach two-digit multiplication!


      Choose one or more of the above. Keep teaching and reviewing in small, visual lessons each day.

      Cheryl

      Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child


      cherylswope.com

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