# Teaching Place Value

Hi everyone!

I recently watched a group of students playing a computer game that featured place value.  Watching them play the game I observed who easily played through the levels and who had trouble advancing.  As a teacher, my mind went to task analyzing what was needed as a foundation in order to understand place value.

With that in mind here is a checklist to determine if students have the necessary skills to understand place value.

If students don’t have these skills, STOP and teach these essential building blocks to understanding place value, or your students will struggle with this cornerstone of mathematics throughout the year.
1.  Fluency in stating, identifying, reading and writing digit names
a.    Mastery requires modeling and repeated practice/drill
2.  Comprehension of digit value
a.    Mastery requires modeling and repeated practice/drill
3.   Counting and comprehension of quantity of groups (skip counting by 2, 5, 10)
a.  Mastery requires modeling and repeated drill
4.  Representing groups of numbers
a.  Mastery requires modeling and repeated practice to develop understanding and the ability to reason with that understanding
5.  Firm understanding of the columns on a place value chart and what each column represents.
a.  Mastery requires modeling and repeated practice to develop understanding and the ability to reason with that understanding
Young students can develop a strong understanding of place value when teachers assess their knowledge base before diving into place value.  Make sure your students have the foundation they need to create a strong knowledge of place value.
When you are sure your students have mastery of the above elements, move on to place value and watch them zoom!
Happy Teaching!
Lori
Fun to teach has a variety of games and activities to help build these essential math skills in young mathematicians.