elementary, hands on learning, math, place value

Place Value Relationships

Understanding place value is an important Math skill for elementary students.  One of the objectives is for students to describe the relationship between places in a base ten system.  Although this may seem difficult at first, starting with concrete manipulatives can really help students gain a deeper understanding.


I like to start by letting students “play” with the blocks for a few minutes.  Then I will ask specific questions and have them use the blocks to work out answers.  One such example is “How many ones do you need to equal a ten?” or “How many tens can you use to make one hundred?”  Give students time to work together or independently with the blocks to answer the question, then discuss.  I also like to write the questions/answers on the board or have a record sheet for them to work along with.


After students have a lot of practice discussing and writing the relationships with place value blocks, a place value chart will come in handy.  I like to use different colors and draw arrows on the place value chart to show the students the patterns on the chart.


I also teach students how to draw their own place value charts.  When working word problems with relationships, I have my students draw and label place value charts.



If you are looking for resources to help your students master this objective, I have two great resources in my TpT store:

Place Value Relationships Task Cards:


Place Value Relationships Notes and Practice:



6 thoughts on “Place Value Relationships

  1. I love how you color code and and draw arrows to help your students see the patterns on the place value chart. Great idea!

  2. I really, REALLY appreciate all the images in this post. For those who are a little slow catching on in understanding what you are teaching and how you go about it, (myself included) the photos are so helpful. Excellent resource on Place Value!

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