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Lesson Plan

Place Value by ECSDM

Grade Levels

Elementary, 1st Grade


In this lesson for first graders, students will be introduced to the term "digit," will create one and two digit numbers with place value tools and will identify the number of tens and ones in one and two digit numbers. Although there is opportunity for the students to work at the SMART Board, you may wish to have the students work with place value bars/cubes (tens/ones) as you move through the slides to maximize student participation in the lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will create one and two digit numbers with place value bars and cubes.
Students will use a t-chart (tens and ones) to build and identify the number of tens and ones in one and two digit numbers.

Duration of Lesson

45-60 minutes per session (repeat as needed)


SMART Board set-up and SMART Notebook software
Place value manipulative (ten bars and one cubes - ideally 10 ten bars and 20 one cubes per student)
Individual whiteboard, markers, erasers OR paper, writing implement of choice
Place Value SMART Board file (see support materials)
Ten frames and Tens/Ones T-chart mats (see support materials)

Step by Step Procedure

Anticipatory set:
Explain to students that today they will be learning about (or practicing if you choose to use this lesson over multiple days) how numbers are created and what numbers really mean. Slide 1 reviews what they will have learned about numbers in kindergarten and introduces the term "digit".

Slide 2: This slide allows students to see a mathematic representation of what the digits mean.  To make it hands-on (give the students ten frames and 10 one cubes prior to beginning the SMART Notebook lesson), have the student build each digit before the teacher touches to reveal the cubes.  Before moving to the next number, the students should remove all cubes from the frame.  The teacher may choose to do the numbers in order or randomly.

Slide 3-4:  Choose a student (if teacher wishes) to drag the cubes to frame as the rest of the students do so at their desks.  You may choose to have the students count aloud.   After you have revealed the answer, you may choose to ask the students "What would we do if we had more cubes to count?"   You will be guiding the students to the realization that they could use another ten frame.  Slide 4 reviews what the term digit means and connects the concept of building larger numbers from digits to a concept they are already familiar with - building words from letters.

Slide 5:  This review slide can be used to reinforce what has been presented so far.  Touch each number to reveal a concept.  Touch the ? at the end to reveal the question.  See what responses the students compose.  Be sure to press the reset button before moving to the next page.

Slide 6:  Press the full screen icon on the tool bar to use this slide.  It contains an animation whose controls are at the bottom of the page.  As the cubes are moved off the frame and stacked, the students should count them out.  Once the yellow ten bars is revealed, allow the students to see for themselves that their ten bars really equal 10 one cubes.  The students should place a ten bar flat on the desk horizontally.  They can then place 10 one cubes above the ten bar.  The cubes will line up so they will be the same length when placed end to end with no spaces.  Before moving to the next slide, reset the animation by pressing the leftmost symbol on the animation controls.

Slides 7-11: Remain in full screen mode.  The slides show how we build and represent numbers.  As cubes are moved onto the T-charts, involve the students by having them count the cubes.  Review the completed picture at the end of the animations.  You may choose to have the students build the numbers with their blocks and mats at their seats.  Slides 8, 9, and 11 have animations that show the process.  Be sure to reset the animation before moving to the next slide.

Slide 12:  If you choose, you can exit full screen mode.  This slide reviews what has been done.  For the numbers 42 and 15, have the students attempt to build the numbers first using their blocks and mats before having a student come to the board to erase to reveal the answer.  Monitor and correct anyone who did not use the correct number of tens and ones.  Discuss the question at the bottom.  The answer is revealed by touching the bar.

Slide 13: This interactive slide allows the students to build numbers.  The students will need to have a T-chart mat, ten bars and one cubes.  Our district has math manipulative bags so our place value blocks are already sorted.  If your place value blocks are not sorted, you will need to be sure that each child has 5 ten bars and 10 one cubes (for convenience place in a zip top sandwich bag).  The students can also use white boards or paper to record the number of tens and ones and the number built if you desire.  You can make this a cooperative lesson by having the students work in partnerships - one student builds while the other records and then reverse roles for each progressive turn.  You could use this page more than one day in more than one way (ex day one just build, day two partners build and record, day three individuals build and record, day four student builds at SMART Board as rest of students simply record at seat).  Which you choose to do and how often you use this page depends on the progress of your students.
To use the page: The left spinner determines how many tens.  The right spinner determines how many ones.  Point out to the students the spinners are spun in that order because that is the order we write our numbers - tens then ones.  You may choose a student to spin them.  Next a student may drag over the appropriate number of ten bars and one cubes.  (You can use the same student or choose another.)  Finally a student can fill in the mini-T-chart and write the number that was built.  When ready to move on to another number, delete the tens and ones and erase the mini-T-chart.
Important teaching point: If a single digit number is built, a 0 should be written in the tens place in the mini-T-chart.  Explain to the students that when we write it as a number we do not need to write the 0 for the tens place.  Consequently for "10" numbers (10, 20, 30, ...) point out that we write a 0 in the ones place on the mini-T-chart but DO need to write it when we are writing the number.  If  we don't then it will not hold ten in its place.  For students that are having difficulty with this it helps to have them compare the pictures and mini-T-charts of numbers such as 4 and 40, then 6 and 60, etc.

To choose students I have a jar with popsicle sticks that have the student's names on them.  I pull names from the jar and call the student to the board if he/she is paying attention.  If the student is not paying attention I simply say "oh no, I can't call this person" without revealing the name.  The off task students quickly return to task (this procedure was clearly explained prior to any lesson).  You may use whatever system you have in place in your classroom.

Slide 14: Each blender has its own set of tens and ones that are placed in the blender and swirled together to create a number.  To make it more interactive, you may read the tens and ones and while the blender is blending, the students can either build or write down the number they think will be created.

Closure: At the end of the lesson, have the students explain in their own words how numbers are built and what place value means. The quiz on slide 15 can be created as a group activity.  If you choose, you could hand out paper and have the students record their answers.  Once you read all questions, the students have created their answers and you have collected the papers, you can review the questions and have students choose the answers to see if they are correct.  You can include place value practice worksheets from you own district math curriculum or that you create as well as the sheet attached to this lesson for independent practice. BrainPOP, Jr. has a video on place value in the math section. (Visit: www.brainpopjr.com - subscription required)


Monitor students as they work at the SMART Board and explain thought process.
Monitor students as they work at desks with manipulatives.
Completion of worksheet.
Completion of quiz on slide 15 if you choose.

Support Materials

Place value T-charts
ten frames
ten bars and one cubes are available to print
cut and laminate if desired on slide 17 and 18 in the Place Value Notebook file.

The Place Value Practice Sheet Template Notebook file allows the teacher to create additional practice sheets.

  • Place Value Notebook File
  • place value practice sheet.pdf
  • place value practice sheet template.notebook

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