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Monday, April 11, 2011

Place Value Mission

Practicing place value can get a little tiresome, but it is important to keep it fresh in their minds. We try to jazz it up a little bit by pretending we are on a "mission."

We play the Mission Impossible Theme during this work and see if we can complete the work before the song is over. It adds interest and fun to our learning when we do it this way.

For the lesson, I created the following Montessori materials (free download):
  • 4 place value charts
  • digit cards (i.e. 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9)
  • 'mystery cards'
    • mystery card set one is in blue and has the following numerals: 7000, 500,30, 1
    • mystery card set two is in orange and has the following numerals:  4000, 700,80,2
    • mystery cards set three is in purple and has the following numerals:  2000,800,40,3
    • mystery card set four is in lavender and has the following numerals: 8000, 900,60,5
    • and 2 more mystery card sets
Sunshine placed the place value charts in the middle of the workspace. The mystery cards were separated into piles according to their respective colors on the side of the workspace (shuffled), and digit card were placed in piles according to their respective colors. (my montessori material download has a picture of the work in its place)

After all the work is in its place, we start the Mission Impossible Theme. I downloaded mine from Amazon.Com. She picks a numeral card from the mystery pile (i.e.500), then she chooses the '5' digit card and then places it in the hundreds spot on the place value chart.  From the same pile, she chooses another mystery card (i.e. 30). She then picks up a '3' digit card and places it in the tens place on the same place value chart. She repeats it until she creates the 4 digit number. We then lay out the mystery cards under the place value chart in order of place value and then say the number we created.

This is helping with transferring concrete knowledge to abstract - and it's fun too! I am going to find other ways to use our "detective" approach. They think it's a blast!

The Place Value Montessori materials can be downloaded here free.


  1. This is awesome! My kids are going to love this!

  2. I love the music idea. Thanks for sharing

  3. How fun! I appreciate your linking up at the Math Monday blog hop. I hope to see you there every week. I love the way you put the music in with the lesson. I need to play that when I sit down to blog...and stop when the music ends. ;) LOL.

  4. Fabulous - thanks for the download! Thanks too for linking to Montessori Monday. :)