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Teaching Place Value in a Daily Calendar Routine

Teaching place value in a daily calendar routine may make absorbing the concept in a class lesson easier. In the first county I taught in, this was a consistent element of morning calendar exercises. Covering place value in class seemed to be a breeze because the students started daily calendar routines from their first day in kindergarten. There were three exercises we used to do to reinforce the concept of place value. See below:


You can now buy premade place value pocket mats from school supply vendors, with three pockets to represent ones, tens and hundreds. Miniature number cards are supplied to place in small pockets to represent the number of ones, tens and hundreds.

In the olden days, place value “pockets” could be made out of tissue boxes or skinny shoeboxes cut to display the straws. Creative teachers wrapped these boxes in pretty wrapping paper and tacked them on the corkboard with pushpins. If you are on a budget, using household items frees up money for other items you may desire in your class.


Number cards with the numbers 0-9 were put on rings and mounted above the tissue boxes. They were used to record the number of straws in the place value tissue or shoeboxes.


We all had links that we would put together in columns of ten until the last day of school. We had room for 18 columns on our calendar board. Every morning, we would count by tens as far as we could and then count the links on the last column. The last column bringing the total number of links to 100 was labeled as such and we would start all over counting by ones and tens afterward.

With these daily exercises in practice since day one in kindergarten, place value was a habit of mind by first grade. Yet these activities were practiced every year through elementary school. Place value was a piece of cake!

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