How to Teach Place Value

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Money is an easily relatable application to use when teaching students about place value in math. Learn about decimal places and teaching place value on a whole number perspective with help from a math teacher in this free video on basic math lessons.

Part of the Video Series: Math Lessons
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Video Transcript

So how does one teach place value? Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang, I've been teaching college mathematics for more than nine years. And there are quite a few ways to teach place value but what we're going to do in this next couple of minutes is to use a very common and easily relatable application to teach place value and that is of money. Now, here's a couple of examples. The most common of course is that of the one dollar bill. Now the one, obviously because it's a one dollar bill is a easy way to teach the ones place. Now you can extend that of course to a ten dollar bill or if you have a hundred dollar bill. What that allows you to do is teach them, well the first digit is the ones place, the second digit there is the tens place and of course the third digit is going to be the hundreds place. Now, you can also use coins to express place values but going in the other direction. Take for example the quarter. Now with a quarter you can do one of two things. Use the fact that the quarter is twenty five cents. Again, you could use that to teach place value. So you can let five be the ones place or two be the tens place. You can use coins to teach place value on a whole number perspective or you can use the fact that a quarter is twenty five cents in this perspective. Because a quarter is twenty five cents you can teach students that a quarter is twenty five percent of a dollar or point two five. This will help you teach them the idea of smaller place values. So for example you can teach them that the first number after the decimal is the tenths place and then for the five, the second decimal is the hundredths place. And you could repeat that for other coins of your choice, whether it be the dime, the nickel or the penny. And that will help them get started on the whole idea of place value. So, I'm Jimmy Chang and here's an applicable way to teach place value.

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