Tools and Activities for Teaching Place Value

Find lessons, tools, and activities for place value, comparing numbers, and rounding in your primary classrooms!

Place Value is such a fun concept to teach in elementary school! And it is incredibly important to students’ understanding of numbers and eventually, computation. Are you looking for tools and activities for teaching these skills? I’ve got you covered!

Anchor Charts

Anchor Charts for teaching place value lessons in first and second grade

Of course, anchor charts are a must! But, I already wrote an entire blog post about which anchor charts to use in your Place Value Lessons. So, you can head over there for more info! (Blog link at the bottom of this page).

A tip: Laminate your anchor charts for Place Value. So many of your anchor chart activities will need to be used many times with lots of examples!

Place Value Tools and Manipulatives

Place value manipulatives for first and second grade lessons

As far as manipulatives go, Base 10 Blocks are a must. Many of your schools will provide math manipulatives for you. However, if they don’t, this is a set I absolutely love. Not only are the different place blocks different colors, but they also provide a mat that is big enough to display the manipulatives for easy place value display. You can also make your own place value mat like the one above by laminating a piece of anchor chart paper with a hand-drawn table.

There are also place value tables like the ones in the pictures above that are perfect for use in small groups and centers. The numbers flip over in each position and students can easily work within their place value range. If you have a grade-level budget or the opportunity to get supplies from organizations like your PTA, consider grabbing one of these sets.

Hands-On Lessons and Activities

Place Value hands-on interactive lesson plans and activities for second grade

Next, it’s your lessons. Your lessons are going to play a major role in student mastery of place value. Whole-Group lessons should have anchor charts, hands-on activities, and opportunities for students to practice the skill. In this case, an “I Do-We Do-You Do” setup will work well.

The lessons in my units, like the one pictured above, will all have an Anchor Chart, a whole group activity, shared activity, and a worksheet or printable where students can practice and show their understanding.

Hands-On Centers

Hands-on interactive centers for place value in first and second grade

In order to provide students with plenty of time to work with place value skills, incorporate hands-on centers or small group activities. Students should be practicing again and again with a variety of numbers and places.

Centers could include something like “Spin The Number,” where students spin each digit, creating a number. Then, they will need to use their place value skills with that number. They could determine the value of each place, write the number in standard, word, and expanded form, compare numbers, etc.

Interactive Notebooks for Place Value

Place value interactive notebook pages for first and second grades

Do you use interactive notebooks? I like to include these glue in pages in lessons or centers because it is a great way for students to practice the skills we are learning. But, it is also a way to show their progress over the year. You can use these pages to check for understanding and students can use their interactive notebook pages to reinforce their understanding or correct misconceptions.

Interactive Notebooks are low-prep and can be easily added to a center or small group. I also love seeing them used as an exit slip!

Printable Place Value Activities

Printable place value worksheets and activities for first and second grade

Similarly, printable activities are a low-prep way to have hands-on practice. Printing pages that students can cut apart and paste is sometimes more accessible for independent or partner activities. Have your students color in the correct base-10 blocks instead of having to provide the blocks (and keep them organized) for more than one center.

Using Pre-Made Google Slides or Seesaw Digital Activities

Digital place value worksheets and activities for 1st and 2nd grades

All of your students will need skill practice for each strategy, as well. An easy way to implement skill practice without any prep or take-home papers is to use pre-made digital skill activities. The digital skill activities in the example above are from the Digital Place Value activities set linked at the bottom of this post. They are premade in Google Slides and Seesaw.

Students will be practicing their place value skills on Google Slides or Seesaw, manipulating each page with their mouse and keyboard. The pages can be assigned individually or you can share the entire document with your students and assign 1-2 pages each day for practice.

Using for Place Value

Digital student whiteboards online tool for elementary math

Coincidentally, there is a free, online tool called that acts like a personal whiteboard for each student. All you have to do is share the link and your students can practice their place value skills on a digital whiteboard. Use this for whole-group or small-group practice!

With these digital whiteboards, you can see which strategies students use to work through place-value questions. This will allow you to see their work and assess who is understanding the concepts and who needs extra instruction. After seeing all of the student responses, you can easily “Clear all whiteboards” and pose another question or move forward with your next task.

Gamify Their Math with IXL

IXL place value game-like virtual activities

Previously, I have mentioned using for skill practice. This site is excellent for standard-specific skill practice. Not only are students going to be prompted with problems that are specific to your strategy, but they will also be getting live feedback and explanations for misconceptions. IXL has several activities for base-ten and place value. So, students will be able to practice their place value skills as much as they need!

Resources and Links You May Need From This Blog Post

Today, we discussed different tools and activities for teaching Place Value. Here are a few resources that will make your life easier! Links to resources are below.

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!

These activities are for 2nd-grade Place Value. As you can see, there are digital activities, centers, worksheets, short answer questions, and interactive notebook pages.

Here are the same sets, but with 1st-grade activities!

Want to read more blog posts about teaching Place Value?


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