I spend almost four weeks on place value with my 2-3rd grade class. Having a deep understanding of place value is a crucial math foundation, so it’s worth it to me to take this long. Every year, I have my learners explore beyond ones, tens, and thousands. One of my favorite activities is for my learners to make ten-thousands models.

We talk about the pattern:

one – cube, ten – bar, hundred – flat, thousand – cube, so what comes next? A bar for the ten thousand. So I give them each a big piece of cardboard to make their model with a partner.

It’s interesting to see their different approaches. One group used two thousand model cubes and was able to measure appropriately to make the model.

And to the other extreme, one group gathered all the blocks in the school to actually have ten thousand.

All groups were successful (in their own way). And one group is taking all the the ten-thousand models and making a hundred thousand model. Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading and let’s math math magic!

– Evil Math Wizard