Math Background

Place Value and Money: Tips and Tricks

  • Make grid paper available for students to use when they compare numbers. It will help them keep place values lined up. They can also use notebook paper turned sideways.
  • Divide the class into groups of three or four students to play Grab Bag. Put different amounts of money in 6−8 small paper bags. Have each group of students choose 2 bags, count the money in each bag, and compare the amounts. Redistribute the money in each bag and repeat the activity.
  • Try this activity with your class. Have students write a 1-digit number on each of seven index cards or self-stick notes. Then have them work in groups for 5 minutes to form as many different 7-digit numbers as they can. The winner is the group that forms the greatest number of 7-digit numbers. Repeat this activity for 8- and 9-digit numbers.
  • Have students research number systems used in other cultures and report their findings to the class. This can serve as a good theme for a bulletin board.
  • Open a General Store in your classroom. Supply the store with play money and a variety of empty packages brought in by students. Give each student the opportunity to be both the customer and the storekeeper. This will reinforce both their money-counting and change-making skills.

Houghton Mifflin Math Grade 4