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Place Value:

Learn Place Value With a Flip Book


Today's Snack: Make a "flip sandwich" with two completely different colors of bread (whole-wheat white and pumpernickel?) with your favorite meat and cheese, or peanut butter and jelly, inside. Does it taste differently depending on which side is up?





Shoebox, other cardboard box, or piece of cardboard 6" x 12" | scissors

2 pieces each of seven colors of construction paper:

red, orange, yellow, white, blue, green, purple

Black marker | lined paper | ball of yarn | ruler | pencil | hole puncher



Place value is an important concept in math. You start with the 1's, move to the 10's and add the 100's. But there are so many more places with which to become familiar! It's easy to get confused as you get into the thousands and above, the line of numbers gets longer, and the zeroes add up.


Here's a fun way to play around with place value so that the big numbers become second nature. Let's make a flip book!


First, take one piece of red construction paper. Fold it into 12 sections by first folding it in half, then folding it in half again, and then folding that section into thirds. When you open it up, you should have 12 equal sections.


Repeat this process with the rest of the construction paper.


Take the black marker and write seven sets of the numbers 0-9 in the small sections. For each color of construction paper, you will have two sections left that are blank - do not have a number. Discard these or keep as scrap.


When you are finished, you should have a total of 70 number cards - 10 each of the seven different colors.


Now grab some scissors and cut out the number cards on the folded lines. Cut neatly, to ensure the cards are all the same size.


Next, cut out the side of a large shoe box. You want to have a rectangular piece of cardboard, about 6" x12". (A cardboard box also works fine.) You will want the cardboard to be longer and wider than a row of seven number cards. It will serve as the base for your flip book.


Use a hole puncher to punch two holes in the top of each number card. Make these holes about a half-inch apart.


Then cut 14 pieces of yarn, using a ruler to make them about 6 inches each.


Now you're ready to make your flip book! First, make 7 piles of numbers 0-9, arranged by color.


Lay out the piles on a table in this order: red, orange, yellow, white, blue, green and purple.


Lay the shoe box piece flat on the table. Place seven cards on top of it evenly, to help you see where the column lines will be.


Use a marker and the ruler, and draw 7 column lines evenly on the shoe box piece. Use the number cards as guides. Put two commas conspicuously where they go - between the hundreds place and the thousands place, and between the hundred-thousands place and the millions place.


Use the hole puncher to make 2 holes at the top of each column on the cardboard base.


Beginning with the purple cards, tie the number cards onto the shoe box into the "ones" column - which is at the far right-hand side -- with yarn.


Continue this process - stacking the numbers in order, and tying them in place by threading yarn through the holes -- using the following order:


green cards = tens place


blue cards = hundreds


white cards = thousands


yellow cards = ten thousands


orange cards = hundred thousands


red cards = millions


Now, with the black marker, label the bottom of each column with the place value name, such as "ones." Continue until all of the places are labeled and number cards tied on.


Now you can quiz yourself and your friends by writing down long numbers, saying them out loud, and creating them in your flip book. You can race your friends!


To get started:


















By Susan Darst Williams Math 2010


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