Place Value Visual Aid

We have been spending a lot of time working on place value mastery. Manipulatives are helpful – we have been using small river rocks to count and group into tens – but I wanted something a little more visually impactive.

I printed up simple tiles onto cardstock, with 1, 10, 100, and 1000 printed. I also included single digits from 1 to 9, several zeros, as well as some grids to build numbers. The concept is simple.

I use my individual numbers to build a number on my grid. Kyri uses the tiles to show me how many 1’s are needed for the number in the one’s column, how many 10’s are needed for the number in the tens column, how many 100’s for the number in the hundreds column.

I also made a two-row grid, along with plus and minus symbols,  so that I could build addition or subtraction problems. This is especially helpful for doing addition and subtraction of two-digit numbers. When doing two-digit math problems on paper, Kyri doesn’t always “get” that she needs to line up her numbers by place value.

By putting the problem onto the grid, the math problem is aligned correctly and she can easily see that the ones add  or subtract with the ones, and the tens add or subtract with the tens. For example, for 25 + 12 she would put two 10’s and five 1’s, and then add one 10 and two 1’s. Then she can see how many 1’s or 10’s are in her final answer. Usng this has really helped her more fully understand place value, and why it is important in arithmetic.

*** I’ve added the Place Value (doc) file to my Downloads page if you are interested in using this. I’ll get the pdf put up shortly. ***

3 Comments on “Place Value Visual Aid

  1. I think this will help her be faster with math in her head. This is similar to the “math magic” method that I read about in middle school.


    • definitely. I have really been impressed with her skill so far. she is really grasping doing the math in her head. I don’t even see her use her fingers. she still occasionally asks for her number line, but not as often as she used to.


  2. Pingback: Week End Ten – May 4th Edition | Kyriandra's Big Day

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