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A Plague Upon All Your Houses

I find Math to be an absolute headache in terms of resource management. There is never enough resources, occasionally too many, and they are often in bad repair. This is why my next few posts are about Math resources. Enjoy!

As I teach in NZ and follow the Numeracy Projects, place value houses are a common material to work with. I printed mine off A4 size from Each 'house' was copied onto a different coloured paper, and then cut out and laminated. I didn't cut them out again after laminating, as it made it easier to punch a hole in the corner and thread a ring through (are they 'magazine' rings?).

 My awesome set can now hang from the wall if there is space. No more scrunching up in the bottom of a drawer! They are also really quick and easy to unclip and use, then pack up again.

I started off using a whiteboard pen to write the digits directly onto the laminated charts. However these digits are often hard to rub off, especially if you wait too long and it has the chance to dry. So now I use a packet of playing cards (50cents from the local emporium) with the picture + '10' cards removed. Affordable, and much quicker than making digit cards myself. There is a previous post on here with a similar idea.

I am planning on making a second, A3 set of place value charts with magnetic strips on the back for whole class lessons. I might even pop a little magnetic strip on the back of some oversized playing cards to use with the demo set.

Happy laminating!


  1. I love your post! I am your newest follower :) I hope you can stop by my blog soon. Mrs. B

  2. Love the place value mats! Why did you call it the Trend Setter House?

  3. Hi Caroline,
    The 'trend setter house' is a term used in the Numeracy Projects here in NZ. It determines the H/T/O pattern that is used in all of the houses, and is therefore called the 'trend setter'. I hope this helps!

  4. Find the Destitute teacher on Facebook

  5. Can you explain how you use the mats, do you do it as a whole class or as a center? Using playing cards, do you say a number and they find the correct cards and put them in the correct value slot? Sorry for all the questions. Love this and trying to figure out the best way to use it. Thank YOU

    1. Hi Christy, I have an A4 set that I use during group sessions. We shuffle the cards and then lay them out on the houses. After practising saying the numbers a few times, we start identifying the place value of each digit. Or what is 1 more/ less, 10 more/less etc. A fast and cheap warm up knowledge activity.


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