Place Value & App-Smashing

Saturday, November 12, 2016
Hey, y’alI! I’m energized and full of ideas from #SCEdTech2016 last week. I’m working on getting my thoughts in order and sharing some of the awesome things I learned very soon. For now, I want to share an activity that’s been in the works in my head and in my classroom for the past few weeks.

place value and app smashing

My students have been learning about place value and different ways to represent numbers using place value. I introduced the unit with a Nearpod lesson on place value to assess what students already knew. We also got out our place value blocks and worked with them to represent numbers. Then we made an anchor chart to remind us of the many different ways to represent numbers using place value knowledge: standard form, unit form, expanded form, word form, and base-ten drawing/model. We also did this fun candy corn activity where they built 2 different numbers and represented them in different ways. The anchor chart is courtesy of fabulous, first-year teacher Abby Carpenter.

fall Candy Corn Place Value Math 3-digit

In some of my discussions with Abby about how we might teach place value, I was reminded of last year when I was teaching addition strategies with two- and three-digit numbers. As I was
blog-stalking searching for resources, I ran across this great post from Zig Zagging -Through Education and Technology about using two great apps, Number Pieces Basic and Popplet Lite, for students to show what they had learned. We used the two apps to show 3 different ways to add: using place value blocks, traditional addition, and partial-sums addition. The students really enjoyed the activity, and I got to see what they learned.


I really thought the same combo of apps would work well together this year, but to show numbers in different ways using place value knowledge. So my latest tech activity was born . . . and with some app-smashing inspiration from EdTech, I decided to take it a step further and have students put their final product into the wonderful, amazing digital learning journal Seesaw.

Here are the simple instructions:

  1. Roll a die to make a number. We rolled 3 times because we are working with 3-digit numbers. Students can record their numbers on the Seesaw Place Value Script.
  2. Build the number using the digital manipulatives in Number Pieces, then take a screenshot.
  3. Create a new Popplet, with the standard form in the middle and the four other forms around it. Take a screenshot of the Popplet.   Finally, add the final image to Seesaw. Read and record using the Seesaw Place Value Script.

And what you get is a student-created product demonstrating their place value knowledge, i.e. a fantastic formative assessment!


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