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Millionpede Place Value Bracelet
Submitted by Diane L. Glaspie Cline (11-10-2012)
My students seemed to struggle with the concept of place value, so to make it more memorable and useful to them I created the "Millionpede" bracelets for them to make and wear.
1. Needed: Bracelet material- long foam strips is what I used, but the sturdy rubber colorful bracelets (used for causes like pink cancer bracelets) might work too. You could also cut up fuzzy material to make fuzzy "Millionpedes" for desk pets.
Have each student write their name on the "underside" of the bug.
2. Needed: 3 different sizes of foam shapes- (assorted colors, the more colors the better), or beads if you prefer, which will represent the progression of place values: 1 large (million), 3 medium (100 thous, 10 thous, 1 thous), and 3 smaller (hundreds, tens, ones) sized shapes. I bought hearts of the three different sizes to represent my values and I also found them in 6-8 different colors.
3. Starting from the tail of the "millionpede" and working toward the head, right to left, place the 3 smallest shapes of 3 different colors in a row on the bracelet.
4. Place the 3 medium sized shapes next, using 3 different colors than before.
thou thou thou
5. Place the largest colored shape to represent the million's place.
thou thou thou
6. We used an ink pen to write the above representatives for the place values on each shape. We added large commas in the places to show it as the bugs feet.
, thou thou thou,
7. The children made the capital M for million to look like the bug's face, the middle became the nose by adding a dot, and the 2 top points of the letter M, they emphasized with dots for eyes!
8. Now, is the time glue the pieces in place on the bracelet and allow time to dry. We used a craft glue to stick better.
9. After drying, we hooked the bracelet loosely so it could easily slip off and on our wrists with a paper clip or staple.
If you don't want to hook them, as we also made a few which we didn't, we would lay them on our desks and practice writing numbers on our papers.
As the children became confident, they wanted to practice without their "Millionpede" bugs and eventually learned their place values much sooner than before and with less confusion. Their cherished pets soon went home to show their parents how they learned place value.
Submitted by Diane Cline, Aug. 17, 2010, experienced teacher, MS Purdue