Place Value Understanding



So much of the beginning of second grade is spent reviewing and reteaching place value. It can be overwhelming, but I'm here to say it doesn't have to be!


I started this lesson by giving the students the number 57. I asked the students how many tens and ones made up the number 57. They were quick to answer 5 tens and 7 ones. So I grabbed my base ten blocks and showed 5 tens and 7 ones. I then asked them to turn and talk about how else we could show 57. I had students share out, one of them raised their hand and said, "I know that 1 ten equals 10 ones, so we could trade a ten for ones!" I then had them go back to their desks and use their own base ten blocks to show their thinking. 


I walked around as they were building, asking each of them to explain their thinking about what and why they were doing what they were doing. I was able to formally assess who could understand that trade of a ten for 10 ones. I then had them share out as I wrote down their thinking.

I had them come back to the rug to talk about a bigger number. I gave them 253. They told me the easiest way to make it would be 2 flats (hundreds), 5 rods (tens) and 3 cubes (ones). I then followed the same process and asked them how could we show 253 in a different way. A student raised their hand and said, "I know that 10 tens makes 100, so we can take a hundred and trade it for 10 tens." I then had them go back to their desks and use their own base ten blocks again to show their thinking.


I again, walked around as they were building, getting an idea who was able to make the trade for tens for a hundred. I now had my list of students that I wanted to pull back to work with during our 'rotation' aka center time. We came back together, and I had students share out different ways they created 253. One student would tell me how they made, while I chose another student to assess and evaluate the first students work and thinking---did their work really prove to be 253. (On a side note--I've noticed when you have the students prove their thinking, they are much more apt to do it, opposed to when you ask them to explain!)

Finally, I gave students this exit ticket, which can be found HERE--it is a freebie on my teachers pay teachers site. Hopefully you will find it helpful, as it contains exit slips, math tasks, partner games and truly rigorous activities!

Some other ideas for teaching or working with place value that have also worked for me in the past are using mentor texts, such as A Place for Zero by Charlesbridge, Place Value by Holiday House, or for first grade or lower level students-  What's the Place Value by Rourke Educational Media.  During indoor recess time, a great way to reinforce math concepts is allowing them to play math board games, such as Place Value Safari

Many students struggle between the gap of conceptual understanding and procedural fluency, and the best way to bridge that gap is allowing hands-on activities that the students can use manipulatives, until they have a good solid foundation of understanding! If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions, please feel free to reach out to me!

Have a blessed day!


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