Friday, March 4, 2011

Game Day: Number Line-Up

This activity is designed to actively involve students in using place value concepts to build numbers.   Student teams are given digit cards and asked to form numbers that fit specific conditions: 
  • Build the largest number.
  • Build the smallest number.
  • Build a number between 50,000 and 60,000.
  • Build a different number between 50,000 and 60,000. 
  • Build the largest number between 40,000 and 50,000.
  • Build the smallest multiple of 5.
  • Build an even number that is less than 25,000,
  • Continue to give conditions to tailor instruction to targeted skills.
Students at their desks should play with small decks of cards so that they are also actively engaged in thinking about each prompt.   Teachers should ask students to confirm the correctness of responses and add other possibilities.  Lead student discussion and reflection on how they thought about the problem, how they devised a solution and why they know their answer is correct.

Instructional Strategies:
  • Copy enough of the individual digit cards so that all students have a set in a plastic baggie in their desks.  Use these cards frequently to prompt active participation, asking all students to respond to appropriate prompts such as what number is in the hundreds place, the thousandths place, etc.
  • Copy the digit cards on a transparency and cut apart to create digit cards for the overhead.  Students may use these digit cards to explain their thinking.
  • These activities are perfect for a quick do-now review at the beginning of a class period.
  • Challenge students to develop original challenges.  They should provide the digit cards that may be used and appropriate challenge prompts.  Use student challenges in class and place them in the math center.  Be sure to label each challenge with the student's name and year they wrote it.  Siblings and friends will enjoy these challenges in future years.
These activities are very easily differentiated by varying both the number of digit cards used and the difficulty level of prompts to appropriately challenge the different ability levels within the classroom. 

1 comment:

  1. A further extension might be to add a decimal or include negative numbers.