# Children who just don't 'get' place value

Discussion in 'Primary' started by WombatStewForTea, Sep 26, 2015.

1. ### WombatStewForTeaNew commenter

I've got a few lower ability children in my Y3 class but it is becoming increasingly obvious that one in particular (Y2 Sat - 2c) has so many misconceptions/non-existent knowledge of place value. I asked him to add 8+1 the other day as part of something we were doing and he said 81 then 18. With concrete apparatus we got to 9. He frequently confuses one more and ten more, can't count accurately in different amounts, can't find a number on a hundred square without scanning from 0 and I'm sure other examples.
I'm not sure where to start! He clearly doesn't understand the value of numbers. I don't think I've ever had a child who has such difficulties with place value. I'll be using lots of practical apparatus dienes blocks etc. but any recommendations will be greatly appreciated! Numicon is being hailed as the solution to all maths issues in our place but I'm not 100% convinced in this instance it's the best tool.

2. ### CamokidmommyEstablished commenter

Place value! Nightmare!

I think you just need to keep exposing the child to the apparatus and language and concept repeatedly. When they are working, just keep providing the concrete apparatus. Sometimes I think we take away equipment too soon.

Good luck.

3. ### KartoshkaEstablished commenter

I agree. If he doesn't understand the basic value of numbers then he is going to really struggle to make progress in maths. You urgently need to go back to the beginning, using whatever equipment you feel will work - Numicon, Cuisennaire, Base 10, etc.

I personally really like Numicon as it gives a good visual picture of numbers, including why 8+1 is 9. My class last year (Year 1) found it useful for seeing the difference between numbers like 12 and 21. If your school are keen on Numicon, do you have access to a planning folder that he could work through as an intervention? It sounds like he should start back at Year 1 level in order to clear up his misconceptions and gain a strong foundation in basic mathematical knowledge.

4. ### princess77New commenter

When having 1stclass@number training through Every Child Counts provider, they suggested getting children to make bundles of straws in 10s and making numbers with them and straws that are ones. I have a child who confuses 15 and 51 because someone taught her a trick that really doesn't work! Getting him to make numbers with the bundles of 10s and individual 1s should help. I saw an image of this on http://www.fromevaleacademy.co.uk/term-1-weeks-7-8/
Place value issues can hinder progress in maths. Good luck.

5. ### Josh7Occasional commenter

Counting - lots and lots of counting, forwards and back. Needs to be done with an adult.

Counting games are good. Can his parents be persuaded to play dice games with him? Ludo, snakes and ladders ...