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Recognizing Place Values to Hundred Thousands: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Understanding math is based on learning the meaning of numbers and how to handle them. Before performing operations with numbers, you need to understand place value. In this lesson, you'll learn about place value up to the hundred thousands place.

Counting to 10

There are many kid's songs, shows and books that teach you how to count to 10. Think about the numerals:

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Did you ever wonder why there are different symbols for the numbers 0 through 9, but all of the numbers after 10 have to reuse the symbols in different combinations (10, 15, 26, 412, etc.)? The answer has to do with place value. Place value tells the worth of a digit based on its position in a number.

Place Value
place value train

Place Value

When we read, we read from left to right. When we talk about place value, however, the value of the places increases from right to left. Let's look at the value of different places one at a time.

Ones Place

Imagine you have 9 marbles. The 9 is in what we call the ones place. Any numeral in the ones place has the value of that many single marbles.

Tens Place

You get another marble. You write the numeral 10. What is the meaning of this? The numeral '1' is in what we call the tens place. A numeral in the tens place has the value of that many sets of 10 marbles.

Look at the number 24.

The '2' is in the tens place, so it has the value of 2 sets of 10 marbles, or 20 marbles.

The 4 is in the ones place, so it has the value of 4 single marbles.

The numeral 24 has the value of 20 plus 4 marbles, or 24 marbles.

Hundreds Place

Now imagine that you have 100 marbles. This '1' is in the hundreds place. A numeral in the hundreds place has the value of that many sets of 100 marbles.

Look at the number 450.

The 4 is in the hundreds place, so it has the value of 4 sets of 100 marbles, or 400 marbles.

The 5 is in the tens place, so it has the value of 5 sets of 10 marbles, or 50 marbles.

The numeral 450 has the value of 400 plus 50 marbles, or 450 marbles.

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