Numbers are CREEPILY Flexible

12 tens
120 ones
1 hundred 2 tens
One Hundred Twenty
50 + 50 + 12
(1x100) + (2x10)

So many different ways to represent the same exact value! Challenge students to see the flexibility in ways we can name a value with this *creepy* craftivity. You will need very few materials which you probably already have around your classroom!

Colored Cardstock (I used purple because who says a spider can't be purple?)
Masking Tape (Or another traceable circle of similar size)
Black Marker
Place Value Chart/Base Ten Blocks or any other manipulative tools

 Start by tracing a large circle to one side of the paper. Had I been thinking, I would have traced at the top or bottom so that I could have fit two circles but I am at home and am only making one spider... not a big deal :)

Next, use the ruler to mark out "spider legs" measuring 3/4" across.

At this point, you could photocopy and print this page for your students. Personally, I have my students complete this step. A bit of fine motor practice with the tracing and ruler work marking out the legs never hurt anyone!

Cut out each piece and fold the "legs" in the center to create a bend.

 Next, assign each student a number. Depending on your grade level or student's abilities, choose a number that works for you. I can see this activity working with numbers as small as teen numbers to large whole numbers, decimals or even fractions.

Students need to come up with a different way to show the value of their number on each spider leg. They could, for example use word form, unit form, expanded form, "powers of ten" expanded form, or any other creative equation.

Students can use their place value mats (or base ten blocks etc.) to come up with creative ways to display their value.

In this example, the student (or me...) drew a representation of the original number on a place value mat. Then, one of the ten thousands was exchanged for ten thousands yielding a new way to represent the number.

This really helps to drive home the standards about the place value to the right or the left being worth ten times less or ten times more than the place value next door. (I'm talking to YOU 4th and 5th grade teachers!)

After a whole lot of experimenting and discussion, your students should have all 8 legs filled out.

Simply tape them to the back of the body and display!

If you need a place value chart for your students, the one I am using is included in my free place value hangman style game. Here is a link if you need it! 

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  1. This is a fun way to assess student's learning of numbers! I'm going to try this in my classroom with my students this week! Thanks for sharing your idea!

  2. Fabulous idea! My kids will love doing this, and it can easily be adapted for 2nd grade. Thanks so much for sharing!


  3. I just found this on pinterest I love it. Great for Halloween time.
    Daisy Fryer at Not Your Mother's Math Class