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Friday, February 21, 2014

Place the Penguins Place Value Game

My first graders recently finished up their unit on geometry and fractions and we have moved onto working on place value and numbers with our penguin centers.

One of my favorite penguin activities has been these two games we use to work on place value, reading and writing numbers to 120 and comparing numbers using the >, < symbols.   

A fun two pack of games to work on important first grade skills!
I have noticed that some of my students need a little more practice with these skills and some are ready for a challenge.  I did some searching and found this fantastic and free penguin themed game to work on place value.  

The game is called Place the Penguins and is a great way to work on place value.  It is offered at 2 levels as well.  Level 1 was great for my students who needed a little more practice with numbers under 100 and level 2 challenged some of my students to work on numbers up to 1000. 

A look at the welcome screen.  Here is where you select your level.  
Level 1: I have placed one penguin on 50 and still have to place the other penguin on a number to make 54
Level 1: I have placed a penguin on 80 and a penguin on 7.  My students made some great connections between this game and our arrow cards.  
Here is a look at level 2.  The first penguin is selected and ready to be placed on a number in the hundreds.  
Level 2 after all three penguins have been placed
Level 2:  After placing all the penguins where they belong they get off the mat and squish themselves together to show the number that they make.  This is a great game to use to introduce the idea of expanded notation which is something second graders are responsible for under the Common Core.
Next week I will use the penguin version of I have who has? to see how kids are doing with reading and writing numbers.  It is a fun game that makes a great formative assessment!

I also got a few new books this week to add to my penguin book collection based on some recommendations from blog readers.  I can't wait to use these with my students!

365 Penguins

This book is adorable and will be a great way to challenge some of my most capable students.  I am sure the entire class will love this story and it will expose students to some bigger math ideas like multiplication.  Some of my students are so ready for this challenge! 

Every year my students fall in love with penguin chicks.  This is a great non-fiction book that many of my students will be able to read themselves.  We have a big push in my school to add more non-fiction to our literature collections.  This is a great way to do that and tie it in with our math theme.

How Big is a Million?
This sweet penguin is on a quest to find out how big a million is.  He looks at 10, 100 and 1,000 on his way to finding a million. 
I am excited to spend the next few weeks on this penguin theme and am very much looking forward to spring!


  1. Great minds think alike! Too funny that we both blogged about this on the same day! :) I guess we know that many first graders are engaged and loving this site if both of ours are!

    Learning to the Core

    1. I used it with a few second graders today as well who are still working on place value to 1000 (level 2) and it really helped them out as well!

  2. What a great find! This is just what my kids are working on!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  3. THANK YOU for introducing me to the penguin place value game!! That is PERFECT for my kiddos right now! We are nearing the end of a 6-week long study on penguins AND place value is something that we review daily! Can't wait for them to play it on Monday!! Thanks for a great post, Tara!

    Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes

    1. Glad you like it! I love teaching with a theme and find that kids are that much more engaged when you can use a theme while teaching!