Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Number Line-Up

This activity was designed to practice place value.  In its simplest form, students with the demo digits are asked to form a specific number.  Students arrange themselves to form that number.  The teacher may then ask students what number is in the hundreds place, or the thousands place, etc. 

Ask the students to form number answers for these challenges:
  • the largest number
  • the smallest number
  • a multiple of 25
  • a multiple of 4
  • an even number greater than 4000
  • an odd number less than 5200
  • the largest even number
  • the smallest odd number
  • the largest multiple of 5

Build a Number
To extend the activity, next ask students to use the digits 2,3,7, 8 to form:

  • the greatest number
  • the smallest number
  • a number between 3000 and 7000
  • an even number
  • an odd number between 2000 and 3000
  • the largest even number
  • the smallest odd number

Students at their desks work with small decks to digit cards to produce similar results.  Students may work individually or in pairs, rearranging their small digit cards to produce numbers to satisfy each condition.  It's best to have students working in pairs because they will "talk math" as they figure out how to rearrange their number cards AND they will also discuss how their solution is the same/different than the standing group AND whether they are both possible solutions.

Materials:  Visit Mathwire to read more about Number Line-Up and Build A Number.  There you may download both demo size and individual size digit cards to print out for use in your classroom.  I suggest that you print them on cardstock or laminate them for classroom use.  The demo digits may also be placed in sheet protectors, if desired.

Math Warm-Up Activity:  use the digit cards for quick warm-up activities in the week(s) following initial instruction.  Pose conditions that fit the level of instruction and have students quickly assemble a solution on their desks.  Students enjoy this break from pencil and paper tasks and the digit cards are an easy visual for a teacher to  check quickly as he/she walks around the room.

Differentiation:  this activity is easily differentiated by varying the number of digit cards used (the size of the numbers) and the difficulty level of the task conditions.  Teachers may also pair students to increase the likelihood of success.

1 comment:

  1. I simply love your practical, easy to apply ideas! Please keep them coming!