Tip: Handfuls

How do I do it?
To develop the concept of place value and practice using it, scooping handfuls of items is engaging and full of math language!  Students take a handful of miscellaneous items (buttons, coins, sticks, beans etc.).  Next, working in pairs, the students each guess and write down how many are in the handful?  Next, students work together to group the items in piles of tens or ones.  Count by tens.  Ask how many are in all?  Next, students can draw a picture of how many tens and how many ones were left over.  Continue by taking turns grabbing handfuls of various objects.

Variations & Extensions
Have the students scoop a handful, but before counting it, have them write down an estimate of the amount.  After they have counted their handful, have them determine how close their estimation was to the actual amount.  Greater than or less than? Have them record the difference between the estimation and actual amount ten times in a row.

Common Core Mathematical Practice Standard 2
Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen
Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen


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