Place Value Mats {Weekend Warriors}

Welcome back to Weekend Warriors, Part 2!

Today's topic is place value mats, and how to make them.

We recently wrapped up our unit on three-digit addition and subtraction.  Whenever I introduce multi-digit addition and subtraction, I bring out my place value mats.  In fact, I bring them out when we work with two and three-digit place value, as well (I guess that seems a bit obvious-ha!).  I made these mats forever ago, but they are still going strong!  Many thanks to my wonderful teammate for sharing this idea with me all those years ago.

These mats are a great way to help students understand place value as they manipulate numbers based on the value of each digit.  They are also a great way to introduce two and three digit addition and subtraction.  I use my mats for all of these things.  And, whenever I bring them out, the students are excited.  Any time they get to use math tools and move things around, my students are on cloud 9.

I think it is safe to say that I love my place value mats.  What I love most about them is that they are big and allow the students to easily use them with various manipulatives (linking cubes, base ten blocks, etc).  I've used smaller versions (the ones made on regular copy paper), but they are just too small to accommodate manipulatives of any kind.

Here is a quick how-to if you're interested in making your own oversized place value mat.

  • 12 x 18 inch construction paper (three different colors)
  • paper cutter
  • glue
  • labels for each section of the mat


1. Gather your materials.  You can use any color combination you like for the mat.  I'm not wild about the colors below, but it was slim pickings in the supply room!

2. Decide which color you want for the middle of the mat.  Do not cut this piece; leave it full size (12 x 18 inches.
3. Cut the two end pieces (6 x 12 inches)-see photo above.

4. Glue the two end pieces to the 12 x 18 inch piece from step two (you know, the one you didn't cut).

5. Attach labels to each section of the mat.  I made my labels in Word and converted them to PDF so that I could share them with you.  They were created for use with the Avery 5160 address labels.  Click {here} to grab the labels for free! 

6. Laminate the mats for lasting durability.

It's pretty easy peasy to make these mats, and so worth the time investment (about 2-3 minutes per mat) because the kids love them and the hands on experiences they offer.  Plus, they last forever!

In case you missed yesterday's Weekend Warrior post, click here.  While you're there, be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

Now, don't forget to check out these amazing bloggers and their great math tips!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this idea and for the labels! I think most of my third graders would have no problem making these up for me to laminate!


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