At the beginning of the school year, students are often asked to show their understanding of place value. Place value is the concept of understanding that numbers have different values depending on which column they are in.

If your child is struggling with place value, or you just want to check to see if she really understands larger numbers, try these simple activities

- On individual index cards, write the numbers 0-9. Make 2 or 3 sets of cards. Say a two or three-digit number aloud to your child, and ask her to make the number using the number cards. Ask her to tell you what each number is worth in each column. For example, if you say the number 158, your child would make the number, then tell you that the digit 1 is worth 1 hundred, the 5 is worth 5 tens or 50, and the 8 is worth 8 ones or simply 8. Repeat with several other numbers.
- Spread out all the number cards 0-9. Ask your child to make the largest 3-digit number (or 2-digit, 5-digit, etc.) with the number cards. Now ask her to make the smallest 3-digit number.
- Ask your child to make a 3-digit number of her choice. Now ask her to make a number that is 10 more than that number, or 10 less than the number. Then ask her to make a number that is 100 more and 100 less than the original number.

As always, please feel free to post any comments or questions you may have. I’m here to help!

Laurie

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