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Make a Flip Book for Place Value

Fourth Grade Algebra & Functions Activities: Make a Flip Book for Place Value

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Does your fourth grader read numbers up to the millions? Most of the time, kids this age know the basic concept of place value as long as it's with ones, tens, and hundreds. But move higher than that, and they need a lot more practice. As they become confident with numbers up to the millions, they'll feel more successful as math problem solvers, and they'll be more ready for fifth grade too.

You can help just by doing short games like scribbling a long number and challenging your fourth grader to read it aloud. Here's a fun hands-on activity to get your child flipping through place value with ease!

What You Need:

  • Large shoe box (or cut cardboard: 6 x 12 inches)
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper (2 pieces of each color: red, orange, yellow, white, blue, green, purple)
  • Black marker
  • Lined paper
  • Ball yarn pencil hole puncher

What You Do:

  1. Have your child review writing numbers by using a piece of lined paper and pencil to write the following numbers as you read them aloud:
    • 450
    • 4,508
    • 68,215
    • 798,012
    • 1,982,545
    • 3,786,901
    • 8,098,654
    • 6,312,855
  2. After he is finished, check his answers to make sure they're written correctly. Remind him that the number "0" is called a "place holder." For example, without the number "0" at the end of problem #1, their answer would only be forty-five, not four hundred fifty. You may also check to see if he wrote his numbers using a comma after each group of 3 numbers, as in the number "4,508." This will help him to think about the number's place value, or how much it really represents, as he is writing.
  3. Tell your child he will be using what he knows about place value to practice reading numbers in the millions by making a game. Have him get one piece of red construction paper and fold it into 8 sections: fold it in half, then fold in half again, and fold the remainder in half. Then ask him to repeat this process for the rest of the construction paper.
  4. He should then use a black marker to write seven sets of the numbers 0-9. When he is finished, he should have a total of 70 number cards.
  5. Have your child grab some scissors and cut out the number cards on the folded lines. Tell him to cut neatly, to ensure the cards are all the same size. Help him use the scissors to cut out the side of a large shoe box. This will be a rectangular piece, about 6x12 inches. (A cardboard box also works fine.)
  6. Have him use a hole puncher to put two holes in the top of each number card- about 1/2 inch apart. Then have him cut 14 pieces of yarn, about 6 inches each.
  7. Your child should then make 7 piles of numbers 0-9 arranged by color. Ask him to lay out the piles on a table in this order: red, orange, yellow, white, blue, green and purple.
  8. Have your child lay the shoe box piece flat on the table. Then have him place 7 number cards on top of the shoe box piece. Use a marker and draw 7 column lines evenly on the shoe box piece, using the number cards as guides.
  9. Use the hole puncher to make 2 holes at the top of each column on the shoe box. Beginning with the purple cards, have him tie the number cards onto the shoe box into the "ones" column with yarn.
  10. Continue this process 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
  11. Have your child label the bottom of each column with the place value name, such as "ones," using a marker. Then have him begin by showing each of the numbers they wrote on paper in Step1 on the colored cards! Ask him to read each number to you aloud.
  12. Next, extend this activity by having your child create his own numbers!
Updated on May 22, 2013
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
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