If you have started looking at the Common Core Math Standards, you have noticed that some of the standards can look intimidating to students. This is especially true for some of the Number and Operations in Base Ten Standards across the grade levels. Students are expected to understand how the value of a number is greater or lesser across different place values.
This is an example from the Common Core Grade Five:
"Recognize that in a multi-digit number, a digit in one place represents 10 times as much as it represents in the place to its right and 1/10 of what it represents in the place to its left." (Common Core Standards)
There are variations of this standards across the third and fourth grade levels too. Although the wording looks very technical, when students can see what the standard is asking, the standard doesn't look so scary anymore.
When I teach this standard across the grade levels, I love to use visuals. It is refreshing to hear a student say "Oh, that is what it means."
Use a simple egg carton and place value chips to teach this concept. There are decimal numbers written on the back of each chip. If you would like to create your own chips, use thick foam board, a round paper punch (1/2 inch size) and a permanent marker. Use different color foam board to represent each place value.
I lay my chips out in order like this.
I love the fact that there are two rows in the egg carton. Let us look at the example of
"100 is 10 times as large as the number ten." Ten tens place chips were placed in front of the number 100. This helps students visualize what is stated in this particular Common Core Standard. As students move chips around, the physical movement, sight of the chips, and thinking processes involved in manipulating numbers helps them understand this concept.