April 27, 2005
When I did my student teaching I used a game to help students with place value. It's easy to make and play. Simply get enough decks of cards so that each child can have 3 or 4 cards (depending on whether you want to study to 100s or 1000s). Take out the jacks, queens, and kings. Then make game boards containing spaces for 4 or 5 cards. Label one space 'Toss Out.' After giving each child a game board and the cards, the teacher signals for the students to turn over one card. The objective is to create the largest (or smallest) number possible. They place the first card on a space. Once placed it cannot be moved. When all cards are placed, we see which student has the highest (or smallest) number. (The toss-out space does not count.) You can also do other activities such as finding the difference between the highest and lowest numbers, etc. I used this in fourth grade and the children always wanted to play.