Learning Place Value with Pompoms and Pill Boxes

a tactile, visual and experiential component into math instruction can bring
the “fun factor” into your lessons. 
In addition, incorporating multisensory dynamics into lessons makes them
more memorable and concrete. 
activity is great for math centers, a classroom activity or individual
I teach place values, I like to engage my students with colorful pompoms and
pill boxes!  You can usually find
pill boxes and bags of assorted pompoms at a Dollar Store.  With a few color coded labels, that
cover the days of the week, your pill boxes can be transformed into pompom
compartments.  I like to put a
single color in each compartment and I color code the labels to match.  This makes it easy for students to
reassemble the activity for the next person.  Also, make sure to vary the number of pompoms in each
partition.  I like to make a variety
of difficulty levels for the students and use the seven boxes as follows:
· Millions, Hundred Thousands,
Ten Thousands, Thousands, Hundreds, Tens, Ones
· Hundreds, Tens, Ones,
Decimal, Tenths, Hundredths, Thousandths
· Decimal, Tenths, Hundredths,
Thousandths, Ten Thousandths, Hundred Thousandths, Millionths

also like to provide a laminated sheet so students can record answers with a
dry erase marker or I place the answer sheet in a dry erase pocket.   Students can check their answers
with an answer sheet or a barcode on the back of the pill box.
you would like this activity, you can create it yourself.  However, this activity, as well as the
score sheets, are included in my popular publication, Place Value Panic Game, and Instruction. To learn more, Click Here.
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to www.goodsensorylearning.com  www.dyslexiamaterials.com and  www.learningtolearn.biz 

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1 reply
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I really like this method of teaching place value! I will be working with my daughter as she prepares next school year entering the 4th grade on place value and this is a fun and engaging way to do so. Thank you!


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