Everything In Its Place: Place Value

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Students will be able to correctly identify place value from one to ten million.

Big Idea

Recognizing and connecting number values, expressed in a standard form and as a numeral.

Language Objective and Prior Knowledge

Language Objective: Students will be able to write numbers out in word form and say numbers in standard form, using correct vocabulary of place value terms.

Prior Knowledge: 4th grade worked with numbers from 1 to 100,000 in standard, word and expanded form.

Math Blast - Lesson Activator

15 minutes

Math Blast Number of the Day 6

Math Blast is a quick, fun, fast-paced math game! It doesn't require a lot of materials - just the PowerPoint, music, white boards, and dry erase markers. I begin every day with a Number of the Day.

Math Blast is also a great place to work on Common Core skills, especially critical thinking skills, discourse and collaboration!

I usually play music while students are working (it is the "Blast" in Math Blast). They have to the end of the song to fill in their board.

In the beginning this is more time than most need, but they will use all of the time when the numbers get bigger. Math Blast is a great way to pre-teach a concept and is really good scaffolding, especially for those struggling learners. I like to add new concepts that will be learning in the near future into Math Blast. This way students are familiar with new concepts when I go to teach them. If they haven't figured out the work through Math Blast they will have at least seen the concept. 

I allow table mates to support each other, this is also a good way to support struggling learners.

The basic content my Math Blast covers is:

  • Begin with prior knowledge tasks, factoring GCF, LCM. In 5th grade this is really good to have understanding for going into fractions.
  • I always add some rounding and estimation, good tools to know and it is pre-teaching our next lesson.
  • I always like to end with a word problem to challenge and support students' skills in answering a problem with what the question is requesting them to do.


The closing piece of Math Blast is See, Think, and Wondering.

See, Think, Wondering

5 minutes

Fish In Numbers

I end Math Blast and lead into my lesson with a See, Think, Wondering. The art I choose always relates to the unit I am teaching.

See, Think, Wonder is a dynamic way to get your students to think deeper about a subject without them knowing that they are doing it.

The SEE part is pretty basic thinking. I see….

The THINK part is intended to get students to think about things in ways they haven't before. This is a fun way for students to make connection to the things we're learning in math. In my class, we'll be thinking about math and art.  I use art because I am passionate about art. Use examples of things that ignite your passion! This art makes me think about….

And the WONDER requires enough engagement with the topic (the art) to be able to come up with a question. This art makes me wonder if….

See, Think, Wonder is my way to getting their brains ready to think about math and I find that the transition is great. It is also a quick chance to expose my students to different types of art.

Note: I've added a See, Think, Wondering separate from the Math Blast in case you want to do it by itself. It is also attached at the end of the Math Blast PowerPoint.

Note: You don’t have to use art; I use art because I am passionate about art. Use examples of things that ignite your passion!

Elevator Speech

10 minutes

Concept: Getting students to understand that every place value has an important role, even if you don’t hear the number called out in standard form. If a numeral is left out, it changes the number quantity completely.

The other day I was in the office and I was filling out some paperwork so I could get paid for some extra work that I did for our principal, Ms. Wells. Ms. Deb was helping me with the totals. She read off a list of 5 numbers of the hours that I worked last year.

She read (call out these numbers) 1,267 / 2,010 / 1,002 / 3,025 / 2,001 but write 1,267 + 210 +12 + 325 + 21 which adds up to 1,835 (should be 11,140).

See if anyone catches the mistake. Then talk about how my not knowing place value meant that instead of making $11,140 I would have gotten a paycheck for $1,835.

Which paycheck would you rather get? Yeah, me too! If I'm not careful in listening to what Ms. Deb was telling me, I would have not had dinner for a month!

Work It Out

40 minutes

It is important to engage students into their learning by using games. They are fun but have important skills involved. This is also a great way to work on targeted Mathematical Practice Standards of the Common Core.

Introduce a new game: Read it, Write it and Win! Teach for 10 minutes and then let everyone play for 10-15. Then call everyone into rotations through The Math Games:

  1. High and Low Game (Standard form) 1 station
  2. Dice Roll Number Challenge (Word form)
  3. Dice Roll Number Challenge (Expanded form)
  4. FOUR Square Poster: Standard, Verbal, Visual and Real Life problem
  5. Homework Station: I like to give my students the opportunity to start their homework in class to make sure I’ve answered all their questions.

An important tip - before you teach anything (including games), make sure you "do the math" yourself. Example problems are critical to understanding. Select them carefully, solve, and consider what your students struggle with.

The Closing

5 minutes

It’s tough to write down numbers when there are 0’s in different places in place value, because when we read a number we don’t say “0 Hundreds”. We have to remember that the place value for hundreds is always there! Write some numbers with a lot of 0's in them and have students read them. Talk about the reasons why we don't say '0 hundreds'.

The closing is just as important as the launch. This is where you pull it all together and help the students connect to their learning. It is also a great place to talk about common misconceptions, if there are any. Don't skip this piece; always make sure you leave time for closing discussion. Students need a chance to pull it all together.

Quick Assessment

5 minutes

The Post-It Poster

Read the number 1,987,001 (do not display) and have students write it as a numeral on their sticky note. On the way out, students place the sticky on the class