Learning to manipulate numbers can be a big advantage for kids. Understanding how and why numbers work can make a big difference in knowing why math works the way it does.
But before kids know how to perform long algebra problems, they need to understand the basics of math. Expanded form is one way of helping kids understand how numbers work and why they work the way they do.
Apple Themed Expanded Form Math
Please note that affiliate links are used in this post.
How to Use the Apple Expanded Form Set
Start by laminating the tree page and cutting out all of the apples and apple baskets. The apples and baskets can be laminated or printed on cardstock for best use.
After laminating the tree page, it can be written on with dry erase markers and used multiple times.
To use the spinners you’ll need a paper clip and a pencil (pen, colored pencil, crayons etc will all work too). Put the pencil through the paperclip and set the tip of the pencil in the middle of the spinner. Flick the paper clip so it spins and you have a spinner!
Start this activity by spinning two times. The first time (or the spinner on the left) is for the tens place and the 2nd spin (or right spinner) is for the ones place.
Have your child write the number in the white box. Then add the correct basket and the correct apple to make the number.
Continue spinning and making new numbers!
There is an apple for the ones place 0 but not an apple for the 10s place 0. Ask your child why the 10s place may not be included in this set.
The reason is that 0 is used as a place holder so we can tell the difference between 7 and 70. But we do not need a 0 to tell the difference between 7 and 07. If the set went up to the hundreds place we would need a 0 placeholder for the tens!
Download the activity here
You can find more elementary and grade school activities below: