Place Value Express
I use these when teaching place value and to reinforce before moving on to rounding. They are meant to be used with 1” square number tiles. I print each car on a different color of card stock.
Beginning with the engine, explain that the train moves in the same direction that we read words- from left to right. Each tile, or digit, represents a piece of cargo for the train. The first digit is placed in the ones spot on the first car “hundreds”; the 2nd piece in the tens place, 3rd in the hundreds place. Now, if we have a 4th piece of cargo, it won’t fit in the first car- we need to add another car! Repeat through the thousands and millions. Have students note that when we read the numbers back, AFTER the first car, you need to specify which car the cargo is in. So, for 875,392, we would say, “eight hundred seventy five THOUSAND, three hundred ninety-two.” The train makes it easy for students to chunk the big numbers into the ones-tens-hundreds groups. The commas are the “coupling” connections between the cars. The last page is not labeled and can be used to increase to billions, trillions, etc, if needed.