Tuesday, 2 May 2017

An Introduction to Place Value

This Term, we are going to be developing our understanding of numbers by learning more about place value.  Understanding how numbers are made up of tens and ones helps children to be able to add numbers more efficiently.  Today the children participated in an immersion activity to get them thinking about the most efficient way to count big numbers. Divided into small groups, the children were given an huge pile of materials and only given the instructions to:
a) work as a team
b) count all the items at their station quickly
c) count as carefully as they could and all agree how many objects there were in the pile

Then we stood back and watched how the groups approached the task. Interestingly they all had the same approach as you will see-

Hmmm... a lot of enthusiastic counting going on, but not much team work and a lot of counting by ones which is problematic with so many items to count! So Marissa and I waited and after some time, something started to change with our groups....

Now to get a more efficient strategy. Suddenly totals started to be called out from different groups. When asked to prove their answer to the group, the children realised that that would involve recounting the entire groups by ones!  Back to the drawing board! Then Isla has the seed of an idea and it starts spreading...

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