Thursday, March 6, 2014

Place Value: Math activity for 2nd grade

I'll admit it--I love to teach place value.  Why?  I don't know...  Maybe because I like organizing things into groups (give me a messy drawer and I'll have fun making it look great).  Anyway, I have made quite a few posts with place value already, but thought I would do another one since it is a concept that kids really need to understand well.  I'm not sure if you can over-teach place value.  What do you think?

So, here it is for Math activity Thursday--2nd Grade

To help understand that a two digit number consists of a group or groups of tens, plus the singles, my place value cards with oranges really comes in handy...
Although if you pick other objects to use like paperclips or cereal that's okay too.  In second grade most children are learning about three digit places (typically ones, tens, and hundreds).  I think it is a good idea for them to know typical money place value as well (hundredths, tenths, ones) so you would use pennies, dimes, and dollars.

One activity you can do with your students is to play a game called "What makes a Hundred"

Kids are in small groups--such as a math center.
A card is picked.  (Let's say 43)
Use a 30 second timer and have them start it.
The students use white boards or paper to figure out how much they need to make a hundred. (43 + __ = 100)

After the 30 seconds are up everyone with the correct number gets a point.

They could play for a specific amount of time or play until someone gets 10 points (or some other predetermined number of points).

What math activities have you been doing in your classroom?  You can share link your blog posts below.


  1. Knowing combinations of numbers like 5, 10, 20 and 100 is the foundation of using place value to do multi-digit addition and subtraction in flexible ways

    The Math Maniac

    1. Thanks Tara for noting that. So true! To do math mentally I am always thinking of how close the number is to a 5 or 10 or 100 near it. Thanks for adding your link!

  2. How much to 100 would be a great activity between finishing math centers and heading for lunch. Thanks for the idea. Sara

    1. Thanks! Yes, I agree it would make a great time filling activity : ) Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  3. A math teacher -- now, here is a blog after my own heart. My son is in fourth grade and math is one subject we still have to work on. He prefers science (especially anything dinosaur related, what's with kids and dinosaurs?:)) or reading, but I keep telling him math is extremely important. We're working on fractions now, and multiple digit division.

    I love your site and will certainly have to return and explore. Maybe I'll bring my son along. Thank you.
    Silvia @

    1. Hi Silvia! Thank you for finding me. Was it through the A to Z challenge or just google searching? Fractions are one of my favorite things to teach. I have a couple posts on it already. I hope to see you back soon : )


Thanks SO much for stopping by! I appreciate your comments and any ideas you share! Have a wonderful day : )

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