When to Use Place Value Worksheets to Maximize Student Learning

Worksheets in your math curriculum can be an effective way for your students to maximize their understanding of difficult concepts like place value. It’s not the only way your students should be practicing, but they can be very effective if used strategically. When should you use place value worksheets?

Like any other math activity, worksheets can be overused and not effective for all students. BUT – there are specific times and ways they can be used that will make a big impact on student learning.

Morning Work/Bell Ringers

Using place value worksheets for morning work or bell ringers can be a very effective way for students to practice in short increments. Mornings are a busy time in the classroom and you won’t have time to give students individual help and attention while they practice. Worksheets are perfect for this situation because they are generally self-guiding, have clear directions, and are organized into specific activities.

Here’s an example of that type of worksheet:

Whole Group Modeling

Display the worksheet on your SmartBoard, Promethean Board, or Google Classroom as you introduce a new concept or math model for students. Give each student the worksheet so they can follow along with you.

Model what you want them to learn – then they can practice.

This works really well when modeling place value strategies such as base ten blocks or expanded form.

Formative Assessments or Exit Tickets

Worksheets make it so easy to get formative assessment data from students at the end of a lesson. If students have been working along with you, save the last problem for them to do independently. Then use that problem as your data.

You can quickly see who gets it and who doesn’t. Then plan your next lesson and small groups accordingly.

Small Group Remediation

Place Value Worksheets are perfect for small group remediation. Because they have an easy-to-read layout – struggling learners can focus on the content that you are re-teaching.

For you – being able to pick and choose exactly what you want to reteach is much quicker and easier with worksheets. You don’t have to spend time prepping and planning what activities you will use.


If you assign math homework – worksheets are perfect for that. Students and parents won’t be confused as to what the assignment is – unless it’s some crazy method no one has ever heard of! Worksheets are a math activity that parents can understand.

When NOT to Use Place Value Worksheets

Please don’t worksheets as the only activity type when students are learning place value concepts. They can be a valuable tool in your classroom, but students need to also experience hands-on learning with base ten blocks as well as problem-solving activities that are challenging for them.

In this post, Place Value: Four Engaging Ways to Teach Conceptual Understanding, I share some great ways to give students experience and practice with place value concepts.

These resources are a perfect way to round out your set of place value activities:

LEARN MORE about these Place Value Worksheets that you can use for morning work, whole group modeling, formative assessments, and homework!

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