# Place Value Games

One of the most important mathematical concepts that children need to understand is place value, the idea that the place or position of each digit in a number determines its value. It is so fundamental that students who struggle to understand, can often end up giving up on maths.

At the start of the new academic year many educationalists are looking for engaging activities to reinforce the concept. With this in mind we have collated a selection of our favourites. These include maths games which can be played independently and teaching manipulatives which work well on interactive whiteboards. All are freely available so they can be suggested for use at home for reinforcement.

**1. Place Value Basketball**

This is one of our most popular games. It can help pupils to begin to recognise place value in numbers from single digits to three digit numbers. It forms a useful link between familiar concrete objects such as Dienes to pictorial representations of hundreds, tens and ones.

**2. Daily 10**

Levels 2 to 6 of our own Daily 10 game include a section on 'Digit Values'. These feature numbers from two to six digits with particular digits highlighted. The idea is that children write down the value of each highlighted number, a process which requires the numbers to be 'decomposed'.

The game is primarily for use on an interactive whiteboard with children recording the answer to each question as it is displayed. Progress through the questions can be either timed automatically or delivered manually. Answers are displayed at the end of each set of questions.

**3. Number Pieces**

Number Pieces is a manipulative from The Math Learning Center. It has virtual base ten pieces which can represent up to three-digit numbers. Pieces can be joined together or broken apart to visualise regrouping. It also lends itself well to small group work where students with devices can be challenged to represent numbers.

**4. Flip Counter**

Flip Counter is a counting demonstration tool from ictgames. It can be used to demonstrate counting forwards or backwards in steps of 1, 10, 100, 1000 and 10,000 and similarly with decimal numbers in tenths, hundredths and thousandths.

The ability to drag and drop a decimal point makes the resource particularly flexible and using the 'see every flip' option is particularly useful for helping children to understand that 10 tenths are equal to 1 or 10 hundredths are equal to 1 tenth.

**5. Place Value Charts**

Our Place Value Charts game focuses on helping children to understand how to decompose numbers. There are two modes. The first is intended for students to use independently whilst the Teaching Mode is more open ended for use primarily on an interactive whiteboard. Teachers can ask children to compose a particular number. Levels include up to three decimal places so this gives plenty of options for varying the level of challenge.

**6. Starship Sten**

Starship Sten by Education City is a game where you need to mentally add or subtract 1000 from numbers up to five-digits. This is more challenging than it might appear because at times when 9 appears in the thousands column it involves carrying ten thousand.

**7. Bead Numbers**

Our Bead Numbers place value investigation provides a good context for learners to think systematically in order to find all possible solutions. Given a prescribed number of beads students are invited to make all the possible combinations using a two-digit abacus.

**8. Number Line**

The Number Line app is an open-ended educational tool mainly for primary classrooms. It helps students to visualise number sequences and illustrates strategies for counting. Number lines can be configured with your own intervals and numbers labelled with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, or negative numbers. This is an amazing resource for teaching decimals. By setting the start figure to 0 it is great for helping children count in tenths, hundredths and thousandths. It is really easy to hide and reveal numbers on the line, making it ideal for use on interactive whiteboards.