Education Week states, “Studies show that children who are more active exhibit better focus, faster cognitive processing, and more successful memory retention than kids who spend the day sitting still. Keeping the body active promotes mental clarity by increasing blood flow to the brain, making activity vital to both learning and physical and neurological health.”

When I need to find ways to make a concept stick, I try to think of ways I can get students moving.  A motivating way to get kids moving is by creating a game.  Gamifying anything in the classroom automatically makes it an exciting learning opportunity.  Gamifying your math class is a game changer!  Finding multiplicative patterns on a place value chart is the perfect lesson to bring in a game that gets kids moving!

Multiplicative Patterns on the Place Value Chart Game

Set-up the lesson (Multiplicative Patterns on the Place Value Chart)

  • Use painters tape or chalk to create several large place value charts, spread apart to give each group their own space. Students should be able to stand “in” the place value chart. If you have a tiled floor, each square could be a box on this chart.  Create and label each place value chart as shown below:

Irreplaceable to help your students remember which way to move when multiplying by 10s.  When going over the direction for the activity, you could sing this when moving inboxes to the left.

“To the left, to the left

Multiply by 10 – move a box to the left”

Reflecting on the Activity

This activity gives students a chance to move their bodies and switch roles. A good wrap up to this activity is a discussion with students still at their place value charts.  This allows them to demonstrate their understanding or ask questions about the activity where they performed it.

In order to give more students an opportunity to verbalize their understandings, have students share within their game groups before asking groups to share out with the whole group.

Here are some discussion questions to guide the conversation:

  1. Did moving your body support your understanding of the patterns of multiplying by 10s?
  2. How is doing this activity on paper different than having to step into the chart? How is it the same?
  3. What does this teach us about place value?
  4. How else could you quickly multiply by 10s if you didn’t have the chart?
  5. Could you use this method to divide by 10s?  How would that work?
  6. What is one thing you learned through doing this activity?


Extensions/Next Steps

To extend this lesson for students who need more challenge, you could have the students work backward and divide instead of multiply.  Some of your students will make that connection immediately and be ready to move forward. Others may need coaching and explicit teaching. It can also be used as a follow up lesson on dividing by 10s where students play the same game in a new way.

FREE Multiplicative Patterns on the Place Value Chart Worksheets and Resources

These are all PDF Files. They will open and print easily. The Student Edition Files are labeled SE and the Teacher Editions Files are labeled TE. Click the links below to download the different resources.

Multiplicative Patterns on the Place Value Chart Worksheets and Resources

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