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November Math Centers for 1st grade and 2nd grade
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Place Value Strategies for 1st and 2nd Grade

2nd Grade Skills, Math, Place Value

Written by: Mary Kate Bolinder

Ready to dive into place value strategies with first and second graders? Try these top tips to explore place value in your classroom.

place value strategies for 1st and 2nd grade

Top 5 Place Value Strategies

#1 – Daily Place Value Practice

Make place value practice part of your daily classroom routine. Incorporate place value discussion and review into morning meeting by counting the number of days in school, attendance, lunch count, and so much more! What creative items can you use to show place value? Base ten blocks? Popsicle sticks? Marbles? We would love to hear your ideas of “out of the box” items to express place value in the comments below!

math calendar and classroom bulletin board
Photo Credit: Kyler Cheries Turner

#2 – The Benefits of the 100 Chart

Do you have a 100 chart posted in your classroom? This can be a versatile tool for exploring place value. Do a quick place value game during transitions or when you have a spare moment during the day (spare moments DO happen sometimes, right?!). For example: Ask, 

  • What number is ten more than 58? 
  • What number is one less than 73? 
  • Can you find a number with 8 in the ones place? 
  • Where do you see a number with a 5 in the tens place? 

As your students get better at answering these questions, have them take turns asking the place value questions! Exploring relationships in counting (counting by ones, fives, tens, hundreds, etc.) develops a stronger number sense, and a stronger number sense equals a better understanding of place value!

hundreds chart for teaching place value

#3 – Anchor Charts

Create an anchor chart with your students to showcase the different ways to express place value. Keep it posted in your classroom for quick and easy review!

place value anchor chart

#4 – Make Learning Concrete with Base Ten Blocks

Having a concrete understanding of number sense and place value sets students up for success. Soon they will begin to explore more abstract and complex concepts, but a strong understanding of place value will make math a breeze. Base ten blocks truly are the building blocks of place value! Use place value mats and base ten blocks for hands-on exploration.

base ten blocks for teaching place value

#5 – Use Resources for Teaching Place Value

Go to this post for some awesome Lucky Little Learners place value resources (plus some freebies!)

If you are looking for research-based, engaging, and effective place value resources, check out this free place value activity. This pack is great for small group intervention, centers, or whole group instruction.

Here are a few more fantastic place value resources to try:

Picture Books: Make a cross-curricular connection by exploring these picture books that feature place value. Do you or your school library have any of these popular titles?

childrens books that teach about place value

Videos: Your students (and you!) will have these songs stuck in their heads all day. Sing along and have some fun with these classroom videos to teach place value.

math videos that teach place value

Practice Sheets: The Lucky Little Learners Place Value Worksheets bundle has everything students need to master place value! Featuring 71 worksheets for whole class instruction, independent practice, and review (both print and digital formats!). Get a closer look in our Place Value Worksheets post and also in the video below!

Celebrate with the 1,000 Club

The 1,000 Club Number Book is a task that my students do every year. I give my students the challenge of writing their numbers from 1-1,000. Each sheet in the book contains 100 boxes for the students to write their numbers in order. They get one page a day to complete. After they have successfully completed all 1,000 numbers, they are given a 1,000 Club brag tag.  You can grab both of these resources for free here.

Interactive Math Notebooks for Teaching Place Value:

math notebooks that teach place value

Place Value Task Cards:

place value task cards for second grade

Place Value Toothy:

math toothy place value activity


Place Value Notebook

Place Value Worksheets Bundle

Place Value Math Task Cards

Place Value Toothy

place value strategies for 1st and 2nd grade


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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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