Teacher2Teacher Q&A #19130

Place value

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From: Ralph (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Dec 07, 2007 at 11:26:15
Subject: Re: Place value

Hi Deanna, Thank you for writing to T2T. Actually, if you are using popsicle sticks, and physically bundling them into a bundle of 10 when the children get to 10 of them, you're already using one of the most effective visuals/manipulatives, which is great! One challenge with place value with the numbers between 10 and 20 is our crazy language in the teens where we say all the numbers backwards. For example, FOURteen--the children hear the "four" first, not the "1 ten". I've "defied logic" when I teach place value to beginning learners, and BEGIN with numbers in the 60s and 70s--why? Simply because they "hear" the place value in those numbers much more clearly SIX-TY SEVEN, six TENS and SEVEN; SEVEN-TY FOUR, seven TENS and FOUR, etc. With beginning teachers, I joke that we really should change the language of numbers, the number after nine should be ONEty, not 10. Then 11 would be ONEty ONE, twelve would become ONEty TWO, etc. The number after 19 would be TWOty, then THREEty, FOURty (certainly NOT spelled "for"! :) , FIVEty, SIXty (finally we get it right!), SEVENty... But until such time as "Ralph's number system" gets adopted, children will struggle with those strange "teens" numbers. As you're counting with a children, make a VERY BIG DEAL out of every time you get to a multiple of 10, "We have another 10, we need to bundle them up and move them to the 10s place!" Again I tell my beginning teachers, if you do this enough times with the children, the children should be "seized with an uncontrollable urge" every time they get 10, to bundle them together and move them to the next place (which of course sets the stage wonderfully for when they get to regrouping in addition, etc.) You're on the right track. Just keep doing what you're doing, and reinforce it every chance you get, e.g., when writing the date, instead of just have the date (say the 14th) on the Board, tape a bundle of ten and 4 ones on the Board and have them "read" the date that way, etc. Hope this helps! -Ralph, for the T2T service

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