Ways to Write a Number: Monster Math

Every year, I always like to review the different forms and ways to write a number. We use Everyday Math in our class and there are always questions about showing a number in many ways. While many of my students know how to show it using addition or subtraction problems, practicing the different forms like word, expanded, and using place value blocks are often forgotten, but still important.

I am in love with Scrappin' Doodles monsters (I use them for my grouping cards found HERE) and was dying to incorporate them in a fun and engaging lesson. They are just too cute and the kids loooove them :)

Monster Math

Click the picture above to find it in my TpT Store!

This activity took up a large chunk of our math time today and was so much fun! I set it up like a scavenger hunt and it was the perfect way to keep them moving while practicing math and giggling at the cute monsters :)

I first printed, cut and laminated all of the monster cards. There were 24 in all, so it was not too time-consuming. Plus, I plan on reusing them year after year, which will be easy.

Right before math class, while the kids were at lunch, I went around the room and taped them up all over the place. I didn't hide them anywhere, instead I put them in fun places like the window, on the back of my desk, above class supplies, on our clip chart, etc.

When the kids came in from lunch, I passed out the packet and we worked on an example problem together, reviewing the four forms and also glancing around the room to see where we could see the little monsters hiding.

This is the first of five pages- you can make a packet of all five or pick and choose the pages and monsters you want to use.
I then sent them off to find the monster of their choice and copy down what was on the card into the right spot on the row. They would then use that info to fill in the three remaining forms. All 24 cards were mixed up throughout the room, so they had to read place value blocks, standard, word and expanded forms.

It was great to see them hunt down their favorite monsters first and then see all of the fun things that monster was doing in its various forms. They completed these independently, but could ask friends for locations of monsters if they got stuck.

It was great to collect these packets at the end and see how much practice they had during such a short span- waaaay more fun than book work and it's always a good sign when they comment that math went by so fast that day :)
I just noticed her bottom word form was wrong, but oh well ;)
We are going to review these and I will keep the cards handy for some of my kids who will need the additional practice. They are small enough to use as flash cards, so it would be a very easy center activity, too!

I have added Monster Math to my TpT Store- check it out and enjoy!


  1. So cute! My kids last year loved the around the world cards!

    Tonya’s Treats for Teachers
    I am having a MEGA giveaway, come check it out

  2. What a fun way to get the kids moving and thinking!

  3. This is a fabulous idea! I teach second and will definitely use this later in the year!

  4. This looks so cool! Great review for upper grades!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  5. What a great game! I love the monster graphics, too!


  6. I love this idea. We're doing place value right now and this would be SO much fun :)

    Teach on a Limb

  7. What a great way to teach number writing in word, expanded, and standard form. My class would love this! It's always nice to find fun, engaging lessons to teach concepts like this. I just stumbled upon your cute little blog and I'm happy to be a new follower.

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

  8. Thanks so much! I teach a lower streamed group on a Thursday and they are going to love this activity! I am heading over to TpT to download it now!

    Thanks again,

    Teaching Maths with Meaning

  9. Love this idea. Found your blog through Tanya's giveaway! I am your newest follower. I am having a giveaway too. This is the last day of my giveaway. Hop on over and enter for a chance to win some great prizes.
    Ms. Jones’ Junction

  10. Love your activity! It would be a great way to review the concept and assess who still needs a little more practice.
    Thanks for sharing!
    :0) Melissa
    More Time 2 Teach

  11. This is such a great idea. I just graded my place value tests :( I might try this for a review because they need it!! I am so glad I came across your blog! Excited new follower!!!