Early Learning Resources Primary mathematics: Place value & mental calculation activities
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Place value & mental calculation activities

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Place value & mental calculation activities

 

I’m often asked about key primary mathematics resources.  At this time of year, all year groups are revisiting and developing their knowledge of place value and mental calculation strategies.  One of my favourite resources, which I would never be without, is a set of place value dice. The dice have ten sides allowing all the digits from 0 – 9 to be used on the ones dice, 00 – 90 on the tens, 000 – 900 on the hundreds and 0000 – 9000 on the thousands.  For the oldest children you may wish to use decimal place value dice.

 

By using two or more dice you can cover a great deal.  Adapt the activities by using two, three or all four dice to meet the needs of your children. Here are just some simple ideas for using these dice:


1. Roll the dice.  What number have you rolled?  Can you say the number?  Can you write the number in words?Can you build it using place value cards?What about using some simple drinking straws in bundles of hundreds, tens and ones? Can you order the numbers you have made?  Which number is the smallest/largest.  What is the difference between the first and second numbers you rolled?

 

2. Roll the dice, write down the number on a whiteboard or in a book.  Can you double the number mentally? Can you double it and double it again?  Record your doubles.  How far can you get using mental methods?

 

3. Roll the dice, write down the number on a whiteboard or in a book. Can you halve the number mentally? Can you halve it and halve it again?  Record your halves. How far can you get using mental methods?

 

4. Roll the dice, write down the number on a whiteboard or in a book. Can you round the number to the nearest 10, 100 or 1000?

 

5. Roll the tens and ones dice to generate a number.  Write down the number on a whiteboard or in a book. Can you calculate the number you would need to add to your number to make 100 or 1000?

 

6. Roll two or more dice to generate a two-digit number.  Record the number on a whiteboard or in a book.  Roll the dice a second time to generate a second two-digit number.  Record the number on a whiteboard or in a book.  Mentally add the numbers together.  You may find it useful to use a set of place value cards with this activity.

 

Don’t forget there are other useful place value resources:

• Place value charts

• Place value cards

 

Liz Gibbs is a freelance national and international teaching and learning consultant for mathematics and ICT. This autumn Liz is currently running courses in Suffolk, London and Hong Kong. You can find out more by visiting her website. www.thebusylizzie.co.uk

 


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