Place Value Party

In math, it is so crucial for the students to have a strong understanding of place value.  If the students understand those concepts, so many other skills will come easy! In second grade, we work specifically with hundreds, tens, and ones.  Here is how I introduce the concepts to my kiddos: 

Straws.  Lots and lots of straws.  

I have the parents send in boxes of 100 straws.  Then I have the kiddos make a circle on the floor and I dump all of the straws (about 1000) out in the middle of the circle.  Right away, they are engaged and excited! As a group, we talk about the most efficient way to count all of these straws. By this time, we have already covered skip counting so the kiddos are able to pick up on the concept quickly.   I end up introducing the term "bundle" by creating groups of ten.  

After deciding that counting by tens is a good idea, I split the students into partners and provide them with rubber bands.  They work together until all the straws have been made into bundles. 

Then we bundle the tens together to make hundreds.  They just love this part! 

We practice counting the bundles, and then talk about the leftover ones and tens.  This helps the students to understand that 10 tens = 100 and 10 ones = 10.  I am telling you . . . I will forever teach place value this way!! This introduction really stuck with my students and it has helped them with all concepts that are related to place value.  We constantly refer back to these bundles! 

To get a more thorough understanding of how to teach place value, I have attached a whole week of lesson plans.  I hope you find these useful! Click here for the lesson plan freebie. 

Here are some great products I have used during our place value unit.  The kiddos love them! 

 Here are some number cards that I use to introduce values and expanded form.  They do wonders for helping the students with these concepts! Click here to download the FREE cards and find directions on using them. 

Now if you follow my blog, you know that I am a complete anchor chart addict.  So I of course have a place value anchor chart.  Meet Perry the Place Value Robot! 

Here is my newest Place Value Packet:

It comes with SO many goodies that will be the perfect supplements to your place value unit.  There are crafts, center games, quick checks, printables and more! Click on the preview above to check out the product at my TPT store. 

I hope this post has helped you make plans for teaching your kiddos place value.  Please comment to let me know what you think!
Happy teaching sweet friends. 


  1. definitely using the anchor chart and plans to help my kiddos out this week!

  2. totally excited about trying this with my second graders!! one question, so you placed all the straws in the middle of the circle, and hen divided up the students into partners. how do you do make sure that there isn't a mad dash where everyone starts grabbing straws.. how do you make that part fair and organized?

    1. Camping Out In SecondMay 12, 2016 at 11:11 AM

      I am so sorry it took so long for me to reply! I have been unable to login to my blog, so I haven't seen any comments. I would give each groups of students the same amount of rubber bands and then take turns taking a handful of straws. I have also divided the straws into groups so the students just worked on their group of straws. I hope this helps!!