Getting started with place value

We’ve got quite an exciting project underway at the moment. This is the launch of our LiteracyNumeracPro.com shopping site. The link will be live soon, so watch the space.

One of our products is a giant Place Value Chart designed to meet the needs of tutors who are embedding numeracy, and their adult learners, in particular those involved with trades or vocational training. Adult learners in trades or vocational training need to understand place value to make sense of number, solve problems and, especially for trades, to understand measurement.

Here’s what we’re going to suggest tutors and trainers do with the Place Value Chart.

• Attach the Place Value Chart to the top of your whiteboard.
• Refer to it every time you need to talk about big numbers, small numbers, and decimals.
• Display it somewhere where you can use it and refer to it regularly.

We also think that the Literacy Numeracy Pro Place Value Chart is also an excellent support resource for tutors and trainers working with the Learning Progressions for Adult Numeracy.

What is embedded numeracy?

Embedded numeracy is about taking time to deliberately teach the number ideas that underpin the calculations required in vocational course or trades training. But it is also about reinforcing understanding of number concepts quickly and regularly whenever numbers are used. The Place Value Chart is great for this in your teaching space.

In fact, we would love to see a photo of the chart in use at your place. First though you need to get hold of one. We’re working on that right now…!

But what is place value?

The best way to explain place value is with an example. In the number 555 the place of each 5 indicates its value – the first 5 is 500, the second 5 is 50, and the third 5 is 5 units (or ones). This is what place value is all about. Understanding place value means understanding our number system and how it works.

Some examples you can use or modify

We’ve put together some practical examples that you can use to explain place value. I’ll post these in subsequent blog posts. As they come through, feel free to adapt these to your own particular vocational, trades, or other contexts.

Soon to follow… Using the Place Value Chart for:

• Multiplying and dividing by 10 and its multiples.
• Estimating.
• Understanding the metric system.

We’ll also have a free version of the chart for you to print out and use in class as well as supporting materials for download.

What do you know about teaching Place Value? What kind of support would you like to see for Place Value? Let us know in the comments.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...