Learn Place Value with Building Blocks

Our Grade 2’s are learning about place value at the moment. For some of them(I work at a remedial school) the concept is quite hard. This hands-on approach  with building blocks help to make the concept “stick” easier!

place value block activity

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You only need big building blocks and a dry-erase marker. Each block presents a place: ones(units), tens, hundreds or thousands.

building blocks & dry-erase marker
Simply write the numbers on the blocks with the dry-erase/white board marker. The ones goes on the smallest block, then work your way up to the 4 block(thousands).

Use the blocks to explain how the biggest number must be at the bottom of the stack, building up to the smallest unit, otherwise your “tower” will be unstable.

unstable tower
Explain how to expand a number using the stacking method:

Also use the break-up method to reinforce:

break up
“Playing” with blocks helps a student to physically see and experience place value. This is an important step before one can expect them to understand the concept on paper.

After playing with blocks(3D),  go on to 2D number cards(Get printables here). Do the same activity with the cards now.

When the students are comfortable with the cards, Then only one could move on to paper work.

Making learning concrete, helps students to understand a concept easier. It makes learning fun too!

Have fun teaching, building and learning!

Some more hands-on learning ideas:

Word Family Learning with Magnetic ABC’s

Plant-a-Word Spelling Activity
Ordering Numbers Fishing Game
If you like this activity you have to check out this awesome book called ABC’s and 123’s with 40+ hands-on activities to work on letter, number and shape skills!
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