Adding multiple numbers, let alone numbers in the hundreds, can be a bit intimidating for first graders. Thankfully, this fun roll and write expanded form activity is a motivating way to make this tricky concept more concrete and visual.
It’s a perfect compliment to our fun Place Value Cover Up!
To prep the expanded form activity, I printed out the recording page and the three dice nets for each of my students.
The game could be printed out on cardstock and laminated for a whole classroom to use, but I opted to allow each kiddo to have their own. I knew they would love putting the dice nets together and taking everything home at the end of the day.
Expanded Form Roll and Write
Before letting my students loose, I popped my example page and pre-made dice under our classroom document camera for all to see.
Then, I had three separate volunteers come up to roll the dice. We rolled a 300, a 20 and a 4. I held each individual number up and together we read them aloud!
I showed my students how to record the expanded form of 300 + 20 + 4 on the paper. But then I pretended to add the numbers up by writing 300204 on the board. I acted a little silly and tried to convince my students that I was right.
They quickly jumped in exclaiming “No, no, no!” We decided as a class that 300204 did not “look right.” But I still acted puzzled.
I asked my students how we would go about just adding 20 and 4 since we had done that previously.
“Stacking them” was suggested, so I wrote 20 + 4 on the board, lining up the ones place and tens place.
Finally, I suggested putting the 300 on top and adding up all three of the columns!
I could see light bulbs going off in my students’ heads, so I went back to our recording sheet and finished writing out that 300 + 20 + 4 = 324.
I reiterated that they were free to use a scrap piece of paper to “stack” and add the numbers, but I also pointed out that they could easily look at the front numbers of the hundreds and tens dice!
We did a few more examples together, and then I let my first graders start assembling their dice. While they were cutting and taping, I checked in with some of my students to make sure they understood how to add up the numbers.
This math activity was a big success! My kiddos had fun making their own dice and everyone was able to complete the math at their own pace.
My students were eager to take their dice home and show their families their brand new skills!
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