Build your students’ place value understanding with this set of task cards, resource materials, and assessment activities. With this “print-and-go” resource, you’ll have everything you need to develop, strengthen, and assess your students’ understanding of place value relationships.
This product is a ZIP file containing two PDF s. For directions about how to “unzip” the files, TpT provides instructions here
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics addressed:
Number and Operations in Base Ten (NBT)
Generalize place value understanding for multi-digit whole numbers.
• Recognize that in a multi-digit whole number, a digit in one place represents ten times what it represents in the place to its right. (4.NBT.1)
• reference sheet
• place value mat & digit cards (letter-sized and legal-sized)
• 32 task cards
• task card answer sheet and key
• 8 self-checking “answer cards”
• 2 assessment activities
About the Cards
This set of cards focuses on the relationship between consecutive places in multi-digit whole numbers, namely that a digit in one place represents ten times what it represents in the place immediately to its right. All comparisons are made between consecutive places, such as hundreds to tens or ten thousands to thousands, and all comparisons involve determining what digit is ten times larger than a given digit (e.g., “Which number has a 3 that is worth 10 times as much as the 3 in the number ______?”).
There are four different question types that alternate on the cards. The variety of question types will push your students to think deeply about place value relationships, while the repetition of the question types will allow them to practice and build proficiency with the place value comparisons each question type requires. As the students respond to the cards, they will have to make comparisons between digits in different numbers, create their own numbers to match given criteria, and relate two different types of numeric expressions (such as “500 x 10” or “60 tens”) to the value of digits in a multi-digit number.
I organized the cards in this set progressively, building from question type to question type. I chose the order based on my experience with my own students and the questions that they consistently have had more or less difficulty with. Cards 1 through 8 are the easiest, relatively, asking students to simply compare a given digit in one number to a given digit in another number, looking for a digit that is 10x larger than another specified digit. Cards 9 through 16 ask the students to use specific digits to create a number of their own that have a particular digit that is 10x larger than the same digit in another, named number. Cards 17-24 are more challenging than the first sixteen, asking the students to identify an arithmetic expression (such as 5,000 x 10 or 70 x 10) that is equal to the value of a given digit in a named multi-digit number. The final eight, cards 25 through 32, are the most challenging – similar to cards 17-24 –, asking students to consider the value of a digit in terms of a different place (e.g., is 7,000 equal to 70 tens or 70 hundreds?).
Please check out the preview to see all of the materials up close!
Using the Cards
The leveled nature of the cards allow for easy differentiation for student needs. If you have some students who still need more guidance with place value relationships while other students have a higher level of proficiency, you might have one group of students work on cards 1-16 while others work on cards 17-32. Another option would be to work in a small group with your needier students while the rest of the students work on their own on cards 1-16. Later, the students from your small group can tackle cards 1-16 while the other students move on to cards 17-32. You might also have all of your students complete cards 1-8, and based on their performance on those cards, the students who had difficulty with those cards might complete cards 7-16 with your guidance while the rest of the students can complete cards 7-16 on their own, or even move on to cards 17-32.
I have included in this set a place value mat and digit cards that you can have some or all of your students use as they work on the cards – or on any place value activity, for that matter. The mat provides space (and cards) for students to make two different numbers – an original number and a new number – with ten millions as the highest place. You can have students build the number they are evaluating, and then build one of the answer choices, looking to see if the digit in question had been “shifted” to be 10 times the size. Or, they might begin by placing the given digit in the shifted location, and then look to see which answer choice has the digit in that place. For example, a card might present the number 38,759 and ask the students to find a number in which the 7 is worth 10 times as much. The students could build 38,759 as their “original number” and then place the 7 in the “new number” so it is shifted one place to the left, looking for an answer with a 7 in that particular place.
You can have all of your students use the place value mat, or you can use the mat as a way to differentiate – some of your students might use the mat while they work through the cards while other students work through the cards without the mat. The mat can also be a useful tool beyond the cards: use it to introduce the concept of place value relationships, having students building numbers and then shifting digits to the left, discussing how the shift causes a change in the digits’ values.
There are two versions of the place value mat. One is in this file, sized to fit on a letter-sized piece of paper. The other is a separate file, titled Place Value Mat legal size. I added this version so you have a larger option in case if you find the letter-sized mat and digit cards too small for your students to work with. I put the legal-sized mat in a separate file because I know that some printers (including the one I have at school!) have trouble printing out files that have letter-sized and legal-sized pages mixed together. Another option: if the copier at your school is capable of printing on 11” by 17”, you can simply enlarge the letter-sized mat so that it fits on the 11” x 17” paper.
There are lots of ways in which you can implement the task cards beyond the suggestions above. You can have the students work on them independently, working through the task cards on their own. The students can work on them in pairs or small groups, completing a given number of cards in one or more sessions. You can use them in centers, having the students complete 6-8 task cards a day over the course of the week. You can even use them as a variation of “problem of the day”, giving each student 1 sheet of 4 cards to glue in their journals and solve, one sheet per day for eight days.
Reinforcing the Concept
You may choose to introduce or follow-up the cards with the included reference sheet. The reference sheet provides an overview of place value relationships using whole numbers through millions. A labeled place value chart presents pairs of numbers and describes the relationship between consecutive places. Your students can use the journal insert as a guide while they work on the cards, as well as when they complete other tasks that relate to place value. In addition, you can use the reference sheet as the springboard to a class discussion about place value relationships; in addition to the examples, there is an open-ended question about the sample numbers that your students can discuss and respond to in their journals..
Assessing Student Understanding
The two assessment activities can be used to evaluate student understanding of place value relationships. The pairs of activities are formatted similarly, and have similar types of questions, though the numbers on each are different. You can use these activity pages in a variety of ways. You could give one as a pre-test, then teach your lesson and allow students to practice with the task cards, and then give the second worksheet as an independent post-test. You could also have the students work on the task cards, then complete one of the worksheet as guided practice with yourself, a partner, or a small group, and then give the second worksheet as an independent assessment. The worksheets could also be given as homework, center assignments, or any other purpose that fits your teaching style or classroom routines.
Looking to extend your students' understanding of whole number place value? Challenge them with the cards in From Place to Place (Set B)
, my follow-up to this set. It has task cards, reference sheets, and assessments that are all different from the resources in this set.
For more resources to build your students’ understanding of number relationships, please check out the other related resources I have available –
Rounding the World - rounding whole numbers task cards & printables (set a)
Self-Checking Math Riddles – Rounding to the Nearest 10 and 100
Snow Bonds: x and ÷ with multiples of 10 task cards & printables (set b)
It's All Relative – multiplication and division number relationships game
Placing the Value - task cards + printables set
I hope your students enjoy these resources and are able to build their proficiency with place value.