A Blank Check for Place Value

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

One of the skills associated with place value is to be able to work with numbers in different forms:

“Read and write multi-digit whole numbers using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form.” CCSSM 4.NBT 2

Using base-ten numerals is what we often refer to as standard form.  Using number names is word form, and expanded form shows the value of each digit.  Here’s an example:

Standard form: 207,485

Word form: two hundred seven thousand, four hundred eighty-five

Expanded form: 200,000 + 7,000 + 400 + 80 + 5

If you’re looking for some tips on reading larger numbers, check out this blog post.

When you think about it, we rarely write a number using words.  Can you think of one activity that does call for word form?  Yep, that’s correct, writing checks.  Give your kiddos some real-world experience by having them write checks!  My third-grade teachers are going to cut pictures from catalogs, place them around the room, and let the kiddos shop and write checks for their purchases.  What an engaging idea! Want to try it for yourself?  Click here to grab your blank checks. 🙂

16 Comments

  1. Lucy Ravitch

    Love it! Check writing is becoming a lost skill.
    ~Lucy
    Kids Math Teacher

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      So true, Lucy!

      Reply
  2. Fancy Nancy

    Oh my goodness- What a terrific idea. The kids will be far more engaged using catalog pictures and “going shopping”. You are my mentor Donna. I have learned so much from you. Thank you for sharing your expertise.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      I can only claim the check idea, Nancy. My third grade teachers came up with the shopping part of the activity!

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Awesome! I love your task cards. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Karen Hester

    What a great idea! I once worked with a teacher that tied behavior, homework,… into a point system where every point represented one dollar. Students recorded their balances in their check registers (donated by the local bank). At Christmas time, her students brought in “gently” used items, and she put “prices” on them. The class could then shop for their family, having to keep in mind what was in their checking account. They then wrote checks for their items. It was really great! Activities like this would work for the new financial literacy TEKS as well. Thanks for the blank checks!

    karen
    The 85 Mile Commute

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Great incentive program, Karen. Yes, it crossed my mind that the check idea incorporates the financial literacy component!

      Reply
  4. Kelly Koonce

    Thanks so much for sharing this!! This is a fabulous idea!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      My pleasure, Kelly!

      Reply
  5. Tchur8

    This is a great idea…thank you! This year we have to do 20 min. of math intervention first thing in the morning – we also have implimented common core. Between the two I so appreciate your blog!!! Thanks again!!!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      So glad that you’re finding my blog useful! 🙂

      Reply
  6. S Burre

    Recently my fourth graders wrote checks, then their partner the “banker” had to tell how many $1s, $10s and $100s are needed to cash the checks. You can easily differentiate by giving a range on the amount they are writing the checks.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Love that idea! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Justine

    Awesome idea! I am not a teacher, but I will try this with my 3rd grade daughter. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      What a neat idea! Should be fun for you both. 🙂

      Reply

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