Place Value Ladders

Ladders Cards for counting and place value activitiesTeachers can use Ladder Cards with their children as individual mathematical activities, or as a game format. In its simplest form children choose digit cards and place them on the ladder so that the numbers ascend in value for each rung.

mathsticks makes this versatile idea even more appealing by including our signature characters and digit cards designed to match the ladder-spaces.

As a beginning activity, the children can look at all of the digit cards and choose the ones they need to fill the ladder. However, the same resource can be used in a game format. Two children have a board each; and place a shuffled set of digit cards face down on the table between them. They take it in turns to choose a digit card and then to judge where to place it on their board. This encourages them to think mathematically, and to develop meaningful strategies.

This is the key to the learning in this activity, the children are engaged in problem solving:

Where do I play the two?"I've turned over a 2...
...what's the chance that I'll get a smaller number
in the next few turns?

Should I place the 2 on the bottom rung and hope
I don't get a 1?"

The teacher notes describe a number of ways in which this basic premise has been adapted to suit different situations and different abilities.

NEW - Longer Ladders now available!

The Ladder Boards, digit cards and teacher notes (pdf) are free to download from the link below*, but please respect the mathsticks creative commons licence.

Alternative sets of digit cards for use with the Ladder Boards can be downloaded from the Digit Cards page.
 

Ordering numbers - free maths resource
 

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21 Comments

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In a sieve's picture

These ladders are a great way

These ladders are a great way of making Place Value a little more friendly, especially for my Numbers Count children.
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CatherineSM5's picture

 've just discovered your web

 've just discovered your web site after a search for 'Ordering decimals'. What a fantastic resource base. Thank you. Catherine  
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johdu's picture

Great news that you have

Great news that you have found us, Catherine. Good to have you 'on board'.

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Jane Lipton's picture

I am hoping this will make

I am hoping this will make teaching place value a whole lot more interesting for my Year 5's.
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 I will use these for all my

 I will use these for all my class (Lvl2 to Lvl5) just by differentiating the numbers from whole to 3 decimal places.
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maths's picture

Really very helpful!

Really very helpful!
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pamelamdavies's picture

Great I'll give this a try

Great I'll give this a try with my new Y2 class
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EmJa0310's picture

Another great resource for

Another great resource for Numbers Count lessons.
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Cat woman's picture

Hello John, I am back again

Hello John, I am back again after having great success and enthusiastic responses from using digit windows with my class. I thought I would give place value ladders a go too. Thanks again for the great resources.
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olgacruz's picture

i'll try this place value

i'll try this place value ladders with "decimal" numbers with kids over 9 years old... Olga
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meeshkabeesh's picture

What a great idea, my lower

What a great idea, my lower ability Y2 will love this. It will help them understand the value of the numbers they have learnt by rote. Thanks!
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torr.b's picture

I cant wait to try it with my

I cant wait to try it with my new class
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oneof8's picture

This will be great for my

This will be great for my lower ability children. Thanks.
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redladybird's picture

Sorry if I am repeating

Sorry if I am repeating myself but I seem to have problems posting. This is a lovely resources which will be great for teaching unit A1.
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johdu's picture

@danannk1

Thank you for spotting that! I have removed the resource until I can correct it.

You would be amazed how carefully everything is checked and double checked before I add it here... Ok, so now I better start triple-checking!

I have added 10 points to your account for alerting me to the error.

Cheers.

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danannk1's picture

7's ladder cards beware

There is an error in the 7 multiple cards, missing 49 and instead you have 48.
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geordie cat's picture

ladders

This is a great way of showing the children physically which numbers are higher and lower- easier to use higher and lower than bigger or smaller I think.
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johdu's picture

@atchie

Good to hear the place value ladder game worked well for you.

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atchie's picture

Place value ladders

I've recently used these with a child who struggles with understanding place value. These have made it easier for her to understand numbers that are higher or lower than others. Thank you!
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HelenP's picture

Wow!

This is perfect for our Wave2 children - we tried it out this afternoon and had great success. A good game and a cute resource. Thank you.

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johdu's picture

Helen,

Helen, I'm really glad you used it and that it worked for you. I'll be adding an 'extension' to this activity in a few days time. I hope you will find that one just as useful.

John

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