Place Value Activities

Do you enjoy teaching place value? It’s always been one of my favorite math concepts to tackle in the classroom. BUT, I’ll have to admit that I was a little nervous my first year teaching 2nd grade. The numbers were so much larger than when I taught first grade! I learned quickly that the activities needed to be hands-on and interactive. Worksheets just weren’t going to cut it! My students needed a lot of exposure and repetition, but they needed a variety of place value activities to really make it stick.

Well, the same is true now with my very own second grader. Israel started place value last week with virtual learning, and I knew he needed more than he was getting on the computer screen. So, I pulled out some of my tried-and-true place value activities from Magic of Math!

Place Value Snake

First up, expandable place value snakes. Israel LOVES animals and he LOVES creating. He chose a three digit number to expand on his snake. Here’s what it looks like when it’s slightly folded up.

place value expanded form snake 1

Stretch the Snake

Then, you stretch the snake out to see the expanded form of the number! He thought that was so cool! Expanded form snakes are a great visual for looking at the place value of each digit. Expanded form can be very abstract, so making it concrete is key!

place value expanded form make snake

Place Value Practice

After making our place value snakes, Israel did a Place Value Stretch activity in his math spiral. He was given three numbers. He found the value of each digit to write the expanded form. Then, he wrote the word form of the number.

place value 2nd grade second 1

Place Value Spin

Last up, we played Place Value Spin! Students spin numbers to create either a 2-digit, 3-digit, or 4-digit number. Students then find the standard form and expanded form of their number.

place value spin game

To make this a competitive game, students can play Place Value Spin with a partner. The partner who spins the greater number highlights their number. The partner with the most highlighted numbers at the end of the game is the winner!

game place value spin expanded form 1
activities for place value

For more engaging place value activities, click HERE!

Hi, I'm Amy

Hey, y’all! My name is Amy Lemons and I am passionate about providing students with both engaging and effective standards-based Math and ELA lessons.


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