Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Place Value Pick Up Sticks

Hello Everyone!!
Thanks for stopping by today!   I love this time of year.  Beginning of year assessments? Check!  Big beginning of year events? Check! Setting up routines? Check! Getting volunteers lines up? Check! Ahhhh! Feels good!  I think this week will be a fairly calm one.  
In math this week we are working on place value up to 99.  Teaching kids that the tens and ones places really stand for a "value" of the numbers can be a challenge. Last year my teammate found a great little activity on "Sunny Days in Second Grade.blogspot.com" and I couldn't wait to use it this year to help with place value.  I changed it up a bit and am calling it "Place Value Pick Up Sticks."  We started with a whole group lesson using some large (ruler sized)  sticks.  I put 10 orange stickers on one side of 10 sticks. Then I put one green sticker on the other side.  We took turns dropping the sticks. After the sticks were dropped we organized them into "tens" and "ones." That's where the dots come in. I wanted them to see the tens, and see the ones. We talked a lot about the "tens place" really meaning groups of ten, and when we write a 5 in the tens place we are really working with a value of 50. Then, of course we put the "ones" in. the kids wrote their findings on whiteboards.

Next week I will be putting a smaller version of this activity in a math tub.  The game will use popsicle sticks with dots drawn on them.

I know the kids are going to love it.  I might even get the kids to make their own game pieces!
If you think you might want to try this, check out sunnydaysinsecondgrade.blogspot.com.  If you want a quick printable of my version of the game including directions on how to create the large and small sticks as well as a recording page for your kids...

Have a great rest of the week!!! I'll be back soon!!


  1. Love this idea!!! For some reason place value is so difficult for kiddos. I've been working on it in 2nd grade too!


  2. Thanks Nancy. Another great idea. Now I am wondering how I can include hundreds and thousands for my older class.


  3. Your ideas are always amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. I used to love this game as a kid & with place value, this will be perfect for my kiddos! :)

    First Grade Fairytales


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