E: Learning to understand and use place value to solve problems


Target group: Students in years 3–6

Focusing on:

  • creating models of whole numbers using place value materials
  • ordering three-digit numbers
  • using place value partitioning as a strategy to solve addition and subtraction problems.


Teacher observation over a range of activities

The student may have rote-learned place value names and may be able to identify the digit in the tens or hundreds place but cannot create a model of whole numbers. The student may not understand 10 as the basis of our number system and may see 1 purely as a counting unit.

Possible barriers to the student’s progress

  1. Limited understanding of place value notation
  2. Difficulty visualising place value groupings
  3. Limited understanding of groupings of ten

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