This past weekend, I began prepping the at-home math tool bags that I send home with my students after parent-teacher conferences. As I was making place value cubes, I thought I’d do a quick post. I love place value cubes, and so do my students. At the end of this post, there is a link to the directions I have created for making your own place value cubes with one inch foam cubes.
A bit about place value cubes: Unlike regular dice or playing cards, place value cubes repeatedly show values vs. a single digit. In this way, students are continuously reminded that each digit making up a number, such as 4, has a specific value (4, 40, 400, etc.). You may have seen these dice sold on the market. I purchased a set online many moons ago when I taught fifth grade. They were wonderful because the dice represented place values from ones to millions. BUT I only bought two sets because they were quite pricey. When I decided to teach second grade, I found myself using 1/3 of the die-——still loving them——but wanting more and not wanting to spend the money for full sets. That’s when I went online to see about purchasing foam blocks to make sets myself. I found some great ones and was off and running! I was able to customize the cubes for my students’ needs and make as many as I needed for MUCH LESS than buying them pre-made.
There are so many ways these gems can be used! They can be used for independent practice and with partners/small groups. It’s also easy to differentiate by providing different cubes to students based on need. I have created some activities that can be used for two, three, or four-digit place value. The same activity can be used and the cubes can be differentiated!
Not using place value cubes? Have I peaked your interest? Enjoy this freebie below that tells you all about making your own cubes!