Place Value Number Cards

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Many students find place value a very difficult concept, and many teachers struggle to teach it effectively.

When we began homeschooling, we used the Singapore math curriculum; then we tried out Miquon and the Cuisenaire rods for a bit; and finally we arrived at Montessori. Singapore and Montessori both use number cards that introduce the decimal system. The differences in use are that Montessori uses the golden beads along with the cards, has two different sizes of number cards, uses different colors for units, tens and hundreds, and uses them for more concepts than Singapore does; and Singapore recommended cutting off one corner of each card to help the student align them correctly to form numbers.

You can buy the Montessori number cards in various Montessori stores, like Kid Advance, IFIT Montessori, o Alison’s Montessori. They are wooden, and will last a long time. For Montessori math work, you need one set of large number cards from 1 – 9,000, and three sets of small number cards from 1 – 3,000.

Since there are lots of Montessori materials I need to buy, I’m always looking for those I can make easily at home without much expense. This was one of those materials I thought I could make myself. Since I was making my own, I wanted to incorporate the clipped corner of the Singapore cards. I also wanted to make them easy to print, and without using much color ink. And this is how ours turned out:

The cut corner helps in aligning the cards correctly to form large numbers. When you use the Montessori cards, you just teach students to always line them up from the right. I don’t think it is difficult for students to learn and remember to do it that way; the cut corner just makes it a little easier. It works like this:

What I love most about number cards is that they teach place value, and students learn it without effort. They can see very clearly what each digit represents when they take apart the number. They can also start to form and work with large numbers very young, because they understand place value so well. You don’t have to limit them to numbers under 20 as kindergarteners, or under 100 as first graders.

When I made my number card sets, I was thinking about teachers in traditional classrooms, too, and I made cards that can be used to represent numbers up to units of millions. Students usually work on numbers of this size in fourth grade in traditional schooling, and it’s not at all uncommon to find few who really grasp the idea of place value at that age. These cards can help with that. For Montessori children, they will have moved on to the stamp game and then the large bead frame to work with numbers of that size, and they do that at six or seven years of age.

If you’re interested in using the Montessori number cards, you can find them at the links to the Montessori stores I shared earlier; or if you want some you can print, you can find the large cards free at Montessori Print Shop, and the small cards for \$.99 also at  Montessori Print Shop. You do have to use color ink to print those cards.

If you want cards you can print in black and white, that have the clipped corner, and that can be used with numbers up to millions, you’ll be interested in the resource I sell. It has the large number cards up to 9,999 and the small number cards up to 9,999,999. They can be printed in black and white on red, blue, and green paper; or they can be printed in color on white paper. Only the numbers are in color, so it won’t use much ink. This resource can be found in my TpT store; just click on the picture below to go there. There is an English and a Spanish version.

I’ll share a few more resources I made that teach place value this weekend. What is the hardest part for your students when you teach place value? What are teaching strategies you use?

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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