This engaging place-value mini-lesson or math center helps students recognize representations of 3,4, and 5 digit numbers decomposed in various ways including, but not limited to, expanded form. The idea for math jail stems from those pesky “NOT” problems like: Which expression does NOT represent the number _______ ? How this looks in our classrooms: We exposed our students to that stem and explained that whichever expression did NOT represent that standard form number had committed a “math crime” and belonged in “math jail”. Their task was to find the expression that belongs in math jail.
There is also a printer-friendly version (black and white) of this activity to make it easy to print and use in math centers.
Specifically, this place value activity addresses a portion of TEKS 3.2A, (TEKS 3.2A - compose and decompose numbers up to 100,000 as a sum of so many ten thousands, so many thousands, so many hundreds, so many tens, and so many ones using objects, pictorial models, and numbers including expanded notation as appropriate) specifically about the part of composing and decomposing numbers in a variety of ways in order to develop flexible mathematicians. If we only expose our students to expanded form, they are not developing the key concept of flexibility that this standard is intended to promote. Look for more activities in our TPT store, CastilloSquared, to see how we address the other parts of this standard.