I recently found a game to play with Kai that could help him with place value. This is a concept I remember being taught somewhat late-ish in school (not until 2nd or 3rd grade, I think) but it seems like (depending on the program), they teach it earlier these days. Good thing, too, as I think place value is EXTREMELY useful to kids. It teaches them how to read practically any number, just by looking at it. Rather than verbalizing 864 as “eight six four”, place value can teach you to say ” eight hundred sixty-four”. Very useful.
At any rate, this game came from one of Peggy Kaye’s books (I’m fairly certain) and I THINK it was Games for Learning but it could have been another one of hers. We changed it up, every so slightly, because I couldn’t find our paperclips.
This game is fairly simple. You draw a target with three layers. The inside should say, “hundreds”, the middle should say, “tens”, and the outside should say, “ones”. Each person takes their turn tossing nine paperclips (we used stones/counters and I think they were far too heavy to work well) onto the target. Then, you count up how many you have in each circle and record it on your scoresheet. This helps you figure out things like, “Okay – the number one hundred twenty-three has one hundred, two tens, and three ones.” You’re tossing the same amount of items and they can divide the same way, but if they’re in different circles, you’ll get different results. We did several rounds. He won a few, I won a few. The stones weren’t a good choice for this and they caused problems at first (they’d fly too far or bounce). We had good fun, regardless.
I let Kai do the counting and write the numbers. Each time, we just erased the numbers, leaving the place columns and names. Yay for wasting less paper.
We’ll probably do this again sometime, with paperclips!