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Reading, Writing and Using Bigger Numbers: A Second Grade Lesson

written by: Patricia Gable • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 1/13/2015

Large numbers can be daunting for young students to understand. This objective is one that is worked on all year in both specific lessons and teachable moments. Use different strategies and lessons to grab students’ attention for greater success.

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    2nd Grade Big Numbers Lesson Read and write numbers to 1000 using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form. 2.NBT.A.3

    Base ten numerals 637 (standard form)
    Number names six hundred thirty seven (written form)
    Expanded form 600 + 30 + 7 (expanded notation)

    When students say the expanded form, it may sound like this: “6 hundreds plus 3 tens plus 7 ones" OR “600 plus 30 plus 7."

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    There are so many shows on television these days about Alaska. Why not turn the interest into a math lesson? Alaska is the biggest state in the U.S., so it has some big mileage numbers between cities. Use a map of Alaska and mileage numbers between cities to add three digit numbers.

    • Gather students in front of the map/drawing of Alaska.
    • Point out a few of the major cities.
    • List a few of the distances between cities on the board (Some are provided below and on the worksheet.)
    • Together, tackle some words problems such as John traveled from Fairbanks to Anchorage (360 miles) and then drove to Homer (222 miles). How many miles did John drive all together? After finding the sum write the answer in standard form, written form and expanded notation.
    • When the students seem comfortable to do some word problems on their own, use the provided worksheet.

    Mileage Distances between Some Alaskan Cities:

    Kodiak to Kenai=270 miles Anchorage to Fairbanks= 360 miles

    Anchorage to Juneau= 849 miles Fairbanks to Ketchikan= 1,004 miles

    Kodiak to Fairbanks= 767 miles Seward to Valdez= 423 miles

    Homer to Seward= 168 miles Anchorage to Homer= 222 miles

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    Use the second worksheet as assessment, seatwork or homework. It provides an opportunity to write numbers in standard form, written form and expanded notation.