What is place value?
This article has been written by Katherine Pate.
You will have learned place value, perhaps without realising. You use it every time you read a number.
A number is written using digits. In 236, the digits are 2, 3 and 6. The place or position of each digit in the number gives it its value.
You may have learned about ‘hundreds, tens and units’ when you were at school. Now teachers often use ‘ones’ instead of units, because ‘unit’ can have other meanings, for example a unit of measurement.
How do children learn place value?
In key stage 1 children begin to read and write two-digit numbers and recognise the place value of each digit.
They represent two-digit numbers with tens and ones blocks:
and in place value tables:
and begin to partition numbers into tens and ones:
In key stage 2 they work with larger numbers, starting with hundreds:
and then up to millions:
|Millions||Hundred Thousands||Ten Thousands||Thousands||Hundreds||Tens||Ones|
‘four million, five hundred and seventy-two thousand, one hundred and eight’
Decimal place value
In key stage 2 children also begin to recognise and use place value of decimals , up to three decimal places.
‘three point one zero seven’
Both numbers have 3 thousands. Look at the next place value place.
3027 has 0 hundreds
3152 has 1 hundred
So 3152 is larger than 3027
Put the largest digit in the highest place value: 7521
Put the smallest digit in the highest place value: 1257
Practice at home
Read numbers you see around you with your child – for example house numbers in your street, car number plates, newspaper headlines, advertisements.
Compare numbers in real life contexts – for example which is less: £27 or £35?
Which is the largest football crowd: 5300 or 10200?
Practice spellings of numbers 1-20, the ‘tens’ 30, 40, 50, … and hundred, thousand, etc
To practice place value with your child, Collins Maths Targeted Practice Workbooks are a great tool that target every topic covered in each school year. They include plenty of repeated practice to help your child do their best in Maths.
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