Learning About Place Value With Blocks

Kai really loves numbers. It’s not uncommon for him to pick out a math DVD when we got to the library. Likewise, he’s a big fan of number books.

Yesterday, he watched a DVD designed for 4th through 8th graders. Kai’s 4, so I’m not sure he understood a lot of what they were talking about.  One of the topics they touch on was place value. He seemed interested, so I thought I’d try a simple place value activity with him.

Learning About Place Value

We made stacks of 10 blocks each and used a few single blocks. I wrote each number out on a small index card and Kai moved the appropriate number of 10 stacks and single blocks to the right column. We talked about how, for numbers under 100, what is really being said is “X number of 10s plus x numbers of 1s.” (Example: 24 could be said, instead, as “2 tens plus 5 ones.”

Learning About Place Value

We even talked about how single digit numbers could be written as two digit numbers. For example, instead of writing “4”, you could write “04”.

Learning About Place Value

He seemed to grasp the concept right away and was excited to play with it for a while before moving on to other things with his blocks.

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