5 Summary

In this unit you have considered the nature of place value in the decimal number system and learnt about a number of structured resources that can be used to support students’ understanding of place value.

An important point to remember is that although the decimal number system itself is simple in that it only uses ten digits, the concepts that contribute to this simplicity can be abstract and difficult for many students to grasp. It’s therefore important for students to experience as full a range of representations as possible, and to experience these representations regularly alongside reading and writing the numbers.

You have been encouraged to try out some classroom approaches for involving all students as active participants in lessons and for facilitating students to engage in mathematical discussion and to work collaboratively in small groups. Hopefully, you have enjoyed working in this way and seen the benefit in your students’ learning. Remember, these approaches can be used for any area of the mathematics curriculum – not just place value!

Pause for thought

Identify three techniques or strategies you have learned in this unit that you might use in your classroom, and two ideas that you want to explore further.

4 Using a number line to develop understanding of place value