Monday, December 3, 2012


Snowman Place Value

A couple of weeks ago, I read a review of a book called Math Sense: The Look, Sound and Feel of Effective Instruction by Donna at Math Coach's Corner.  Using an activity in the book called "Name That Plant", Donna created a Christmas-themed version that showed different ways to represent a number.  You can read about it here.

I loved the idea, but I needed it to work for numbers in the thousands.  So..........

I created the "Hundred Thousands" Snowman!  

Each child chose a six digit number and wrote it in the brim of the hat in standard form.  The number was written in word form on the top hat.  On the vest they were asked to find the "place" and the "value" of different digits within the number.  On the bottom part of the snowman, they wrote it in expanded form, on a number line, and compared it to a smaller and larger number.  The number line was especially challenging and opened a great discussion about counting backwards with large numbers.  

The icing on the cake was decorating the Snowmen (or ladies!) and decorating our hallway.  It is festive and shows that  "math is happenin'!" in our classroom.  (Did I just put 3 punctuation marks in a row???  You can tell I teach math!).  Take a look at our lovely Snowmen!

You can find a blank copy of the snowman here.  I can't wait to do it again next year!


  1. Love this idea. Do you have a template?

  2. Thanks, Megan! Ursula, I'm better at drawing than I am at computer graphics. BUT, I'm going to work on it and see what I can do!


  3. Love it!! I think your snowman is just perfect!

    Math Coach’s Corner

  4. Great idea! I love it!
    Thank you!

  5. Love that! Definitely going to do this next year! I am your newest follower.

  6. This is great. I'm going to use this when we get back from break.


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