Making Math Fun

by Caroline on March 28, 2012

M-bug still struggles with place value. She often gets her tens and ones mixed up, and numbers with more than one digit in front of the comma stump her. One game that her therapist, Miss Tammy, uses with her at the Idaho Learning Center is called the Math Place Value Game. (I know–pretty predictable.)   :-)

Making math fun with the Math Place Value Game

M-bug playing the Math Place Value Game

I decided to copy Miss Tammy’s versions of the game cards using my computer, and then laminate them (love my laminator!!!). We’ve been playing it a lot during Spring Break.

This game needs quite a few items to play.

  • Game Card(s)
  • Chance Cards
  • Math Manipulative Rods (hundreds, tens and units)
  • 1 10-sided die, or two standard dice
  • Pencil and paper
  • Buttons or other small objects to use as pawns (since we’re talking about M-bug, the pawns are little animals, of course)
Game Card for the Math Place Value Game

"Hundreds" Card for the Math Place Value Game

To start, the first player rolls the die. Say she rolls an 8. She moves her pawn to the first circle that has a digit, any digit, that is an 8. In this case, let’s say it’s 283. Next, she says the number aloud, in correct format (not “2-8-3,” but “two hundred eighty three”). Then, using the math rods, she builds the number, saying the name of each piece aloud.


Math Manipulative Rods

Two hundreds, eight tens, and three units

Two “hundreds” plates go on the left (one hundred, two hundred). Then eight “tens” rods go on the left (two hundred one-ty, two hundred two-ty, two hundred three-ty, two hundred forty, etc.). Next, three “ones,” called units, are place beside the last ten rod (two hundred eighty-one, two hundred eighty-two, two hundred eighty-three). Finally, she writes the number on a piece of paper, saying it again as she does so.

If you land on a number with a star, it means you get to draw a chance card. Makes things interesting.

Chance Cards for the Math Place Value Game

Chance Cards

I made two other game cards as well, one with thousands, and one with a mix of ten thousands, hundred thousands, and millions. For these higher numbers we won’t use the math rods, but instead say the number out correctly, write it down, and then I’ll ask her questions about the digits in that number (What is in the ten thousands place?).

It’s not something we like to play for long stretches of time, so when we decide to stop we just write our initials on the spaces we last occupied, and take it up from there next time. All in all, though, a pretty fun way to study place value, especially compared to worksheets.

(Remind me to explaing the one-ty numbering system sometime.   :-)   )

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Merilee March 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I love the tiny animal placeholders. :D


Caroline April 26, 2012 at 8:50 am

I know, aren’t they the best? Soooo M-bug.


GmaG March 28, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Do you “win” the game or just keep making examples for the numbers you land on? Looks like M-bug is having fun.


Caroline March 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Well, you can win if you get to the finish first. But if we get tired of those particular numbers, I can easily make a new card to spice things up. :-)


Christine April 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm

What a great way to have fun doing math. Getting as much math as possible is so helpful for the long run. Thank you for blogging, I just found this today through Mike’s FB page. :-)


Caroline April 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Thanks Christine! I appreciate the encouragement. :-)


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