Your children will have a blast with this expanded form activity. These puzzles make changing a number into expanded form fun!

Expanded form! Why would we want to teach our children this?

Why is writing 43 as 40 + 3 important?

It is very simple.

Teaching expanded form builds number sense. We never want a child to not understand the true value of the digits in a number.

If a child looks at the number 543 and thinks the five only means 5, math will always be difficult for them. Mental math will be almost impossible!

Teaching children expanded form gives our students the building blocks needed to understand all basic operations as well as do mental math. Needless to say, it is pretty important.

And today I have some a fun expanded form activity to practice this important skill!

## Prep-work:

Puzzles always require a little work, but make a great math center or independent activity that can be used over and over again!

1. First, Print off the puzzles you want your students to work on. There are puzzles for numbers in the tens, hundreds, and thousands.

2. Next, cut them out. If you want them to last longer, you may want to laminate them at this point!

3. And you are finished, and ready for your children to get in some expanded form practice!

## Teaching Expanded Form:

One of my favorite ways to teach expanded Form is with base ten blocks.

Getting children to build the number helps them visually see what each digit represents.

If I wanted to build the number 532, I would begin by grabbing 5 flats. Each flat has 100 cubes, so I now have 500!

Next, I look at the digit 3. It is in the tens place. So I pick up 3 longs. A long has 10 cubes in it, so I need three of them. 10 + 10 + 10= 30

Finally, we look at the digit 2. It is in the ones place. We just grab two cubes and we have a visual of the number 2.

Now it is easy to write the expanded form.

We have 500 cubes, 30 cubes, and 2 cubes.

500 + 30 + 2= 532

## Puzzle time: Expanded Form Activity

After some base ten work, it is time to put the puzzles together.

In the beginning, you could have your students work through them independently or with your support.

But, you could also add in a little competition later. Can you beat your last time? Can this group beat this group? Adding a little competition can sometimes motivate our children to practice the same skill multiple times….which in turn can help them master it!

Enjoy this fun way of working on expanded form.

You’ve Got This,

Rachel

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Our expanded form bundle

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