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    Place Value Story
    By Suzanne Buza-Snead

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    What I tell my students is that we are going to war, the knights against the gladiators. The knights are the top row of numbers and the gladiators are the bottom row of numbers. They are battling over the right to the castle.
    Example:

    708
    -179
    _____ (You can use smaller numbers, but for the sake of making the story more interesting, I am using larger numbers.)

    The stuudents look at the problem as I model the story. I say," The war begins with the eighth knight and the ninth gladiator (the top and bottom numbers in the ones place) they begin fighting and the knight realizes that the gladiator is too powerful so I jumps on his white stallion and gallops over to the tens castle (actually gallop and make the noises..it's more entertaining) He arrives at the tens castle and knocks on the door (actually do this, too) The door opens and you ask, I need to borrow ten of your knights in order to defeat the gladiator, may I borrow them? A voice replies (change your voice) "I am very sorry, but I have no knights to give, try the hundreds castle." I reply, " Thanks for the advice and if I can borrow some knights from the next castle, I will drop some off with you on my way back because you have been so kind." Get back on your stallion and gallop to the hundreds castle. Approach and proceed with the same question....you end up with 100 knights...you gallop back to the tens castle and drop off 90 and return to your castle (act all of this out on the way back, too) Finally, you reach your castle and are able to defeat the gladiator with no problem...the story continues until the problem is solved.
    You won't have to do this all the time. What I found was that my students enjoyed hearing the story and later would re-enact the story themselves while they were working...you should have seen some of them galloping in their seat silently during our state achievement tests

    Good luck!
    Suzanne



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