4 Easy Strategies and Ways for Teaching Place Value in Second Grade

August 15, 2021

Place value is the base of our number system. It is important because it allows us to really understand a number’s meaning. Your students and well us teachers need place value to understand or make sense of a number or numbers. Teaching place value in second grade is very important. 

2nd graders need to understand many concepts which all revolve around place value. The bullets below are all 2nd grade standards. We expect students to have a good grasp of all the following. 

  • understand that the three digits of a three-digit number represent amounts of hundreds, tens, and ones.
  • know that 100 can be thought of as a bundle of ten tens — called a “hundred.”
  • understand that the numbers 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine hundreds (and 0 tens and 0 ones).
  • count within 1000 and skip-count by 5s, 10s, and 100s.
  • read and write numbers to 1000 using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form

Introduce Place Value Using Video

While teaching place value in second grade you want to always give a variety of ways to help students learn. I have come up with 4 strategies and ideas to help teach place value in second grade easily and effectively! 

Getting students excited about learning place value can be as easy as finding the perfect video to reach your students. A quick Google search will bring up hundreds of videos for teaching place value in second grade. However, you want to find one that will resonate with your students. Some classes may dive deeply into place value right at the beginning. While others may need a little more time. Here are my favorite place value videos. 

  1. Place Value Song For Kids| Ones, Tens, & Hundreds

Numberock is one of my FAVORITE math video companies. They have a range of different videos from place value to time. I can always find a Numberock video to match the standard I am teaching! Sometimes the context and wording can be a challenge for some students. So pre-watch the videos to make sure it’s a good level for your kiddos. 

  1. Expanded Form Video| 1st and 2nd Grade Math

This video is taught by a little monotone #1 and he is #1 in my book! Although he does not have much expression and can sometimes sound like the teachers/parents from the Peanuts comics. (I may be dating myself!) Kids love him and the videos explain standards and skills very well. Plus, when teaching place value in second grade expanded form is a HUGE piece to the puzzle! 

  1. Place Value Song: Ones, Tens, Hundreds! 

Mr R’s Songs For Teaching is a great resource for so many amazing songs. I especially love his place value song. The video breaks down place value slowly and effectively making it a good video for introduction and for reteaching or remedial work. 

Teaching place value in second grade is a huge undertaking and many second grade teachers will agree it takes time. But by introducing and using fun videos throughout your unit will really make it easier! 

Use Manipulatives to Teach Place Value

When teaching place value in second grade you will often use two terms over and over: expanded form and written form. When teaching these terms and place value you will NEED to use manipulatives. Let me repeat that. You will NEED to use manipulatives. 

Manipulatives just work and help students who are visual learners, kinaesthetic learners, mathematical learners, and many other types of learners.

 I love base ten blocks. They are awesome. I often give them to my students throughout math and when working on their morning work to help them solve problems effectively on their own. 

Number Dyslexia has an amazing list of 10 manipulatives for teaching place value over at their site! Check it out.

Place Value Games

Every second grader loves a good game! Plus, every teacher loves the engagement level of games! When teaching place value in second grade I always find games are a great way to get students working hard, even the most reluctant learners. Plus, it is a quick way (informal assessment) to see which students are struggling to participate, work together, etc.  

  1. Math Playground-Place Value Party

Students work through different place value questions to uncover all the presents on the wall. There are different ability levels to allow all students to be successful! 

  1. Math Playground-Hundreds Chart Pattern 

Students need to figure out which numbers go around the shown number on the hundreds chart. They can even make up their own patterns! 

  1. Turtle Diary-Number Detective 

Yes, just like it sounds. Students become detectives and are given clues to figure out what the number is! 

I always love a good Jeopardy game, or Escape room as well. These types of games can be found all over the internet and TPT!

Place Value Worksheets

The last strategy is worksheets. Although it may not seem like a strategy, more like an activity. Worksheets allow students to really show what they know or give you data to show what they do not know. 

You can use them as a quick check, informal assessment, morning work, group work and so much more to help with teaching place value in second grade. They are a really great resource to have on hand. If you sign up for my freebie library, you will gain access to a TON of free place value worksheets! 

place value math worksheets
2nd grade place value worksheets

I also have an amazing Place Value Scarecrow craft available for FREE as well. So if you are teaching place value in second grade RIGHT near fall. This is a perfect activity for you. See, not all worksheets are boring! 

Place Value Scarecrow

When teaching place value in second grade you want to make sure you hit all different learners with the strategies and activities you complete. Place value is the foundation of number skills and they need it in their math careers and life forever! 


All posts