Saturday, May 24, 2014

I admire...

The blogger that I admire is the one and only "Evil Math Wizard"!!!
First of all, she has an amazing name that jumps right out at you.  It doesn't end there.  She literally is a wizard, who is able to bring out the magic in any type of math. 
I chose the "Place Value Kit" for grades 2 and 3.  I am tutoring some children right now that need a lot of work with place value.  This was PERFECT!
The games and activities are incredible.  Even the worksheets are engaging and fun. 
One of the my favorite games is the "Place Value Toss".  All you need is some sort of container to attach the place value signs, some chips or cubes to toss, and some tape to create a line to stand behind.  You can see a blue Unifix cube making it's way into the hundreds bucket.  Students get to throw the cubes and try to get the highest score!
 There is a recording sheet and a sheet with directions, so that students can keep themselves on track.
Another great game is "Grab and Guess".  Students will reach one hand into a container and grab a handful of objects. Before looking, they will estimate or guess how many objects they believe they grabbed.  Fun!
After writing their guess on the recording sheet, they count how many objects they grabbed.  We used cereal.  The object is to count by groups of 10.  As they were counting, students drew a circle around each group 10 to stay organized.  The remaining cereal that did not make it into a group of 10 is your ones.
 We did the same game with different objects and compared the differences on the recording sheet.
 Here is a great game: "Place Value Picture".  The kids had a ball with this.  They were allowed to use any number of base ten blocks to create a picture of anything that they wanted.
 Then, they traced around each base ten block and glued it to a piece of construction paper.
 Each student then wrote the value of each base ten block on the paper and added the amounts together to find the "value" of their picture.
This was fun, but it gets even better!  Each student traded blocks with a partner.  They had to use the same number of blocks to build a different picture!
 They were challenged to use their creativity to create something totally different from their partner.
 Here are two pictures with the same value, but one is a frog and one is a rocket ship!
The kids had a great time doing this activity!
"Building Numbers" is a 2 player game.  Students chose 3 cards and built a 3-digit number.  They wrote it on the recording sheet and built it with base ten blocks. 
Then, they had to rearrange the 3 numbers to make a new number.  They continued to do this, until no new numbers could be made.  It is a great way to look at the difference changing the place value of the number.  They are able to visually see the differences when building with base ten blocks.
"High Card" is another 2 player game.  Students are practicing with 4-digit numbers.  They choose 4 cards make a number, say the number out loud, and record the number on the recording sheet.  Their partner will do the same.  They will compare numbers.
One of the lowest prep, easiest to get started games, was the kids' favorite.  "Guess My Number" is a game that can be used whole class, small group or in a partner setting.  One person thinks of a 2-digit number.  I had my kids write it on a post-it.  The other players take turns guessing the number and the clue giver will record the guess on the recording sheet.  The clue giver will also record whether the guess has any correct digits, or if any of the digits are in the correct place.
The picture I have below is of a hand written chart, because the kids were so enthralled with this game that we played it for at least 45 minutes. 
Here is one of the worksheets for making "Number Combos".  Students take the challenge to try and make as many different combinations with the same 4 numbers.  You can see their brains working!
The "Papa John's Pizza" activity is wonderful and hilarious!  It teaches so many different skills.  You set up a pretend pizza shop and have kids take orders over the phone.  It is amazing how much coaching and instruction some kids need on phone etiquette. 
The person who is calling to place the order will show the number of pizzas that they would like to order on the place value chart.  For example, 536.  The student who is taking the order will then write the number on the white board.  Students can repeat the order to reread their answer and double check.  It is an amazingly fun way to practice place value.  There is so much more included in the directions of the game, but you get the gist!
There is so much more that I haven't even shared in this packet.  It is a complete kit to introduce, reinforce, assess, and review place value.  It is absolutely amazing!
If you would like to get this "Place Value Kit" click on the picture below.
Thank you so much to the amazing Deirdre for sharing your "magical" resources with me.  Both my students and I loved them!!


  1. Great work Deirdre and Laura!! The pictures were super. Smiles, Jayne
    Smart Kids

  2. Wow! These are such creative ideas! I can't wait to try them out next year with some of my more advanced first graders!

    1. Deirdre definitely brings the magic to math! I feel so fortunate to have been able to share it with everyone!!

  3. Laura - thank you so much for your kind words and I love how you made it your own, like adding a partner swap on the place value picture! Deirdre, aka Evil Math Wizard

    1. Deirdre- You are absolutely amazing! I couldn't believe my luck when I opened up this product. It is absolutely one of the best I have seen. You are a math wizard!!!

    2. Thank you! Oh, I just put this kit on sale in honor of your awesome post! Anytime you want to review one of my products just let me know!

    3. Thanks, Deirdre! I will definitely let you know :)

  4. Love the place value picture! So much fun. Also admire the Evil Math Wizard!!!!

    The Math Maniac


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