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K-1 Math: Place Value Practice


Common Core, Math  


K, 1  

In this lesson, students will review and strengthen their number sense by playing various games that reinforce the concept of place value.


Students will review and extend their knowledge of place value and their ability to represent two-digit numbers.

 Common Core Standards

CCSS.Math.Content.K.NBT.A.1 Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and further ones.

CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.2 Understand that two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones, including the following cases: (2a) 10 can be a bundle of ten ones, and (2b) 11 to 19 can be composed of a ten and one through nine ones.


  • Students will understand that the digits in a two-digit number represent 10s and ones (CCSS.1.NBT.B.2).
  • Students will represent two-digit numbers in a variety of ways (a bundle of 10 ones, ten and a one, two, three, etc.


Prepare enough for each pair of students:

  • Stack of number cards 0-99.
  • 1 pair of dice (preferably of two different colors)
  • Thin straws and rubber bands or pockets to bundle them
  • Math manipulatives, i.e. unix cubes, cereal pieces (i.e. cheerios), counting chips
  • Place Value Hand outs (see “Downloads” below)

 Lesson Introduction (2 minutes)

Tell students that today they are going to be mathematicians. Mathematicians use numbers to help us understand the world. Numbers are symbols tell us how many of something we have. As a class, brainstorm a list of things that we have amounts of (i.e. I have 3 books).

 Mini-Lesson: Number Draw (8 minutes)

Tell students that there are enough numbers to go on forever, so we have to find ways to use numbers to show bigger and bigger quantities. Count out 0-9 of an item (unix cubes, cereal pieces, etc) and ask what happens when we get to 10. Draw a picture to show or represent your number. Ask students who to do next and model increasing the number of ones until you get to twenty. Then, model how to identify tens and ones in more difficult numbers (39, 82, 45) and draw various numbers.

 Small Group Practice: Build It! (10 minutes)

Give students a stack of number cards. Have students turn the cards face down and pull one number card at a time. After they pull a card, each person builds the number they see using math manipulatives as fast as they can. Circulate to correct student misunderstandings and provide support. As an extension, students can write each number and draw a representation of how they built it (i.e. write 42 and draw 4 stacks of 10 Cheerios and 2 single Cheerios).

 Regroup and Transition (5 minutes)

Have students return to the rug. Ask students what numbers they built. Then, transition students to the next game, Number Race.

 Small Group Practice: Number Race (10 minutes)

Provide students with various materials to create numbers. To play the game, students roll two dice. One die is the tens and one die is the ones. They write the number they’ve created, and then they compare numbers. The student who writes the largest number gets the point. If they both write the biggest number (i.e. if they roll a 2 and a 4 and both write 42, then they both get a point). Circulate to correct student misunderstandings and provide support. Differentiate this game by providing three die and having students write numbers that include hundreds, tens, and ones.

 Center Rotations (15 minutes)

Transition students back to the rug. Explain the directions for center work. Students will work through two of the three number centers.

  1. Number Draw: Students will show ways to visualize and draw each number.
  2. Build It! Students will play another game of build it.
  3. Number Race

Students spend 7-8 minutes per center.

Math Talk (5 minutes)

After students have completed three rounds of centers, have them come back to the rug. Ask students to share out:

  • What did they learn about numbers?
  • What happens as numbers or amounts get larger?
  • What was the easiest way for them to “see” each number?

 Extension Activities

Use these number games to revisit this concept throughout the year.

  • I’m Thinking Of… Sitting in a circle, tell students that you’re thinking of a number with six tens and seven ones. Students raise their hand or give a hand signal when they think they know. If the student gives the correct number they can choose the next number for students to guess.
  • Number Simon Says: Provide students with counting chips or another math manipulative. Tell student that Simon is going to tell them what numbers to show using tens and ones. But, if Simon doesn’t say to make a number, they shouldn’t make it. Tell students which numbers to make by prompting them with Simon Says…. If students make a number when Simon hasn’t “said” to they can sit out a round.
  • Place Value BINGO: Create a BINGO board that has two sides. Write 10s (10, 20, etc) on one side and 1s on the other. Then, for each number you call, students put down two chips, one on the tens value and one on the ones value. The first student to cover their board with chips wins.
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Place Value_image  [DOWNLOAD], 51b8c2cb762ca2.97880303_Hotchalk_Place_Value_Practice_Handouts  [DOWNLOAD]