Thanks to a tweet from a student in Kristen Wideen’s class telling how the children were representing 2-digit numbers, our 2nd grader teachers decided to incorporate this fantastic idea into their math lesson. Discovering this tweet was perfect timing as our students are moving into place value for 3-digit numbers!
The first thing I did was tweet Mrs. Wideen’s class to find out the app they used for place value blocks. The response was Number Pieces, a free app!
After talking with the 2nd grade teachers, we decided to do the following to have students show ways to represent a 3-digit number:
Regular Dice – take a photo. What we discovered was some students put the dice together backwards. In other words, 123 was shown as 321. When they realized that, we discovered an easy fix was to rotate the image!
Number Pieces app – take a screen shot. This has an amazing number of features for a free app! We had the students draw the place value chart and put the blocks in the correct category. What was discovered is that it is extremely difficult to fit more than 2 or 3 hundreds on an iPad mini! The children had to get pretty creative in stacking the blocks so that they could still be seen. Some of the students wanted only their work to show; not the tools of the app so that provided a perfect opportunity to show how to crop photos.
SchoolKit Math: Money – take a screen shot. To show the number representation with money, we used the SchoolKit Math app (free). Besides money, this app has a hundreds chart, number line, tens frame, fractions, and more – very useful tools. Working with money to show a number was more difficult than the other ways. It was tempting, for example, to show 1 dollar, 2 pennies, and 3 pennies for 123. We had to review that the 2 is in the tens place so we would need something to show 20.
To pull everything together, we used the Pic Collage app (free).
The next step was to share the work. The students added their images to their blog and wrote a description of what they did. They would love comments!