Q&A #19079


T2T || FAQ || Ask T2T || Teachers' Lounge || Browse || Search || T2T Associates || About T2T

View entire discussion

From: Claire (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Nov 17, 2007 at 10:35:53
Subject: Re: Kindergarten

Hi, Nina --

Thanks for writing to T2T. Place value is such an important and powerful
concept. Young children need a physical model to help them understand how our
number system works.

I would use some common object that can be easily grouped together, such as
craft sticks (popsicle sticks) bundled in groups of 10 with rubber bands, or
pennies lined up together in groups of 10 between two pieces of tape. I've
also glued 10 beans at a time to tongue depressors, and fastened ten of them
into a "raft" to represent 100. The idea is for the child to be able to see
that there are ten in the group, but learn to count, and later calculate,
with them more efficiently than if they were single.

Base 10 blocks are often used in classrooms to work with place value. There
is an applet of virtual base 10 blocks at

Show your child a grouping of tens and ones and ask him how many there, or
reverse the task and ask him to use the tens and ones to show you a given
number. Combine this with the written forms of the numbers, so that he makes
the connection between the quantity and the notation. You can create simple
games that make this practice more fun.

100 grids and number lines can be useful for understanding place value, once
a child recognizes the numbers. Scroll down to the section on Number Grids at

Pennies, dimes and dollars are useful for representing 1s, 10s, and 100s, but
only after a child understands the concept of the value of the money, a more
abstract concept. Then you can play simple trading games.

You may find some useful information from the Place Value section of our FAQ
pages, although some of the ideas relate to older children:

I hope this is helpful. Please write again if you have more questions.

 -Claire, for the T2T service

Post a public discussion message
Ask Teacher2Teacher a new question

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

Math Forum Home || The Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search

Teacher2Teacher - T2T ®
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.