Learning Place Value with LEGO Re-Grouping Boards

Learning the value of numbers can be frustrating to some children. No sooner do they learn that 9 means there are 9 of an item when we move on to teach the value of the tens place. So the 9 in the tens value place means there are 90 of an item. Yep. I can see why it can be confusing!

What we need to do is focus on the basics rather than the number in the spot. Showing a child what each spot looks like can help them to mentally piece together what the value of a place holder is. So seeing 95 or 195 in bulk can help them to visualize that the tens place holds a higher value than the ones place.

When young man was little and was learning place values, I used a variety of toys to indicate the size of a place value. The easiest toy to use for this is none other than the LEGO® Brick. They come in a wide array of sizes, are readily available and what boy (or girl for that matter) doesn’t love playing with LEGO® bricks?

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LEGO Re-Grouping Boards

Knowing how popular my LEGO® Multiplication boards are, I thought why not make some re-grouping boards as well. It’s a simple concept really, building bricks on each number to represent the number shown. So a 1×1 brick on the number 1 would indicate a value of 1. While a single 2×5 brick and 3 1×1 bricks on the number 13 would show the value of 13 and that it’s larger than say a 1, 3, or even 10.

You can continue all the way through to 100, building up LEGO® brick stacks to visually show the size, value, of the number. You can say things like, “No, you can’t fit 100 bricks in the 99 place, the extra one has to spill over into the hundreds space.” Letting your child visually see you move it to the next space will help them to mentally hold onto that image of the piece fitting in to the 100’s space.

In my opinion, once a child grasps tens to the hundreds place, you can move on to counting by hundreds so I included a board for counting by hundreds.

After that is a board for building place values. Using the example numbers given, allow your child to build 623, 867 as a way to practice understanding their place values. I even included a blank chart for you to write in your own numbers for them to build.

I recommend printing on card stock then laminating to be used over and over again. In fact, if you laminate each board, you can use a dry erase marker on the blank chart and you or your child can write in numbers to build repeatedly.

As always thanks for being a loyal follower. I love being able to share little gifts like this with you.

Peace to you,

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This Post is part of iHomeschool Network’s The Massive Guide to Homeschooling Math.

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