8 Great Anchor Charts for Your Place Value Unit

Place value is going to be the foundation that supports your students’ understanding of almost all base ten math and computation. Over the next few blog posts, I am going to talk about tools, lesson ideas, activities, and resources that can strengthen students’ understanding of place value! Today, we’re talking place value anchor charts.

Place Value Vocabulary

Place value anchor chart vocabulary, digits, ones, tens, hundreds

Firstly, you will want to introduce the concept with some vocabulary. This place value anchor chart can be made in a list, bubbles, a chart, etc. You will just want to make sure students are prepared to hear the important terms for this unit. Depending on your grade level, you may be including the following terms:

  • digit
  • place
  • place value
  • ones
  • tens
  • hundreds
  • greater than
  • less than
  • equal to
  • base-10

Base-10 and Place Value

Place value anchor chart model form base ten blocks

When your students are first learning about place value, you will want to work a lot with base-10 blocks and “model form.” Students need to know what the value of each number is depending on it’s place value position. A simple way to do this is to create a place value anchor chart where you can record a number and then the value of each in base-10 model form. I recommend creating a laminating chart for reusability, or, create a digital version of this anchor chart and record on your electronic or SmartBoards!

Ways to Represent Numbers

Place Value anchor chart elementary math ways to represent numbers standard form, word form, expanded notation

Next, you will need to create an anchor chart that covers how to represent numbers. Divide your anchor chart into four quadrants and label them with the four ways to represent numbers: standard form (notation), word form, expanded form (notation) and model form. Practice with lots of numbers! Again, laminating your poster or creating a digital version will be lifesavers for your prep and planning!

Place Value Chart anchor chart, word form, standard form, expanded form

For the upper grades, you will be working with more places. So, I recommend using a place value chart like the one above.

Place Value Chart

Place Value chart expanded form notation

Additionally, a place value chart will be helpful when students in upper grades are learning about expanded notation. In the chart above, each place value position has its possible values written underneath. Using sticky notes, you can fill in your number. Then, use a sticky note to mark how much each number is worth. As you can see, there is a 1 in the hundred thousands place, so the sticky note is marked under 100,000. There is a 6 in the ten thousands place, so the sticky note is marked under the 60,000. This will help students learn how to write their numbers in expanded notation and can be left up as a reference!

Place Value and Comparing Numbers

Place Value anchor chart for comparing numbers, greater than, less than, equal to

When you begin comparing numbers, a simple side-by-side chart should work! You can record the numbers in each house. Then, show their model forms below. This will make it easy to see which number is worth more!

Comparing numbers place value anchor chart

Another way to compare numbers is to stack them. This works well for upper grades and when students have mastered base-10 models. Students will simply stack their numbers, making sure they are lined up well. They will even be able to do this simple trick on their own with graph paper or by drawing tables.

Using Place Value for Rounding

Rounding numbers place value anchor chart

Finally, when learning to round, create an anchor chart with the following rhyme: Mark the place, Look next door; 5 or greater, add one more; Numbers in front, stay the same; Numbers behind, zero is their name. Practice with several numbers, going through each line of the rhyme and marking it’s instruction, until their number is rounded!

Resources for Place Value

If you’re on the hunt for Place Value resources, look no further. Not only do these units come with digital anchor charts, but they also have lesson plans, activities, worksheets and more!

Want to read more blog posts about teaching Place Value?

  • Place Value Activities
  • Videos for Teaching Place Value (Coming Soon)
  • Resources for Teaching Place Value (Coming Soon)

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