Place Value is Smashingly Fun

First Grade Place Value Lesson Incorporating Applications

AppSmashing: Defined

Through AppSmashing, students are empowered with technological resources. AppSmashing involves integrating content and informational resources from a selection of apps to finish a task. It promotes “creation and publishing without limits.”

Relevant Curriculum Standard: Understanding Place Value

MGSE1.NBT.4 Add within 100, including adding a two- digit number and a one-digit number and adding a two- digit number and a multiple of ten (e.g., 24 + 9, 13 + 10, 27 + 40), using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.

Apps Needed (2)

1 - Math Bugs by Happsan

2 - Write About This by RSA Group

3 - Index Card by DenVog

Activity Instructions

Students should access the "Index Card" app to compute various addition and subtraction problems; teachers will need to upload problems beforehand for students to complete in the app queue. A worksheet should be provided to students to record their responses.


Then, students will practice place value by building bugs with "parts" that correspond to various place holder values (i.e.: antennae, wings, etc.) using the "Math Bugs" app. Be sure students take screen-shots of the completed bugs.


Finally, students should upload the screen-shots into the "Write About This" app. Students will then explain either in written and/or verbal format the specific place holder values (i.e.: the 5 in 5234 is in the thousands place). This is the major tool of assessment.

Suggestions for Assessment

The "Write About This" app will measure student understanding of place holder values.


Additional assessments could consist of a non-technology based assignment that requires students to add/subtract various numbers then illustrate the answers using base-10 blocks. Then, students could explain which number is in which place value spot. This will not only evaluate students' understanding of the order of operations, but also place value and how to communicate the thought process for this type of math.

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