Number Shakers and Place Value Lesson Idea for Kids

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I am a teacher for my daughter's K-2 Co-op Math Class and my goal is to make math fun for her and her K-2 grade friends.  I am constantly looking for interesting ways to teach concepts often only taught through workbooks. She and 12 other children between the ages of 5-7 are learning about numbers, counting, and place value.

First of all, we made these really cool number shakers, and then set them aside to use the following week.  I found this idea from Mathart by Carolyn Ford Brunetto. 

The students were given a piece of construction paper, decorated the paper with markers, and then glued the paper around an empty toilet paper roll. You could also staple or tape the paper to the roll. Two circles were cut from cardstock (we found that regular construction paper was not strong/stiff enough), one small triangle (large enough for only 1 lima bean to escape at a time) was cut from one of the circles.  Both circles were taped to either ends. I had colored lima beans ahead of time in rubbing alcohol and food coloring.  I also wrote the numbers, with sharpie, on both sides of each bean.  Each child received beans with the numbers 1-6 and placed them into their shakers. 

Then, the next week, we used the number shakers in place of the die in this cool place value activity I found from Mrs. T's First Grade Class.

Students grabbed their Number Shakers, shook out 1 bean, and then counted the number of beads that corresponded to that number.  These beads were placed in the ones column.  When the children accumulated 10 beads in that column, they laced the beads on a pipe cleaner and transferred it over to the tens column.  Children continued shaking out numbers until they reached 50!  Brilliant, right?!  Thank you, Mrs. T! 

Students continued on until the timer went off.  Alternately, you could do as Mrs. T suggested, and have the child who reaches 50 deemed the winner! 

Afterwards, we practiced counting by tens and shouted out our numbers.  The kids LOVED it!  There was a whole lot of yipping and hollering. 

This is a practical, budget, and fun way to teach place value.  What do you do to teach place value?