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Intro to place value: FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the introduction to place value.

Why do we need to learn about place value?

Place value is a key concept in understanding how numbers work. Without it, we wouldn't be able to tell the difference between 100 and 10. We also use place value when we're adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing numbers, so it's important for all kinds of math!
Understanding place value is important in all kinds of math, from counting money to telling time to measuring things. Being able to compare numbers is also essential in many situations, like when we're trying to figure out which team won a game or who has the highest score.

What's the difference between standard, word, and expanded form?

Standard form is just the way we usually write numbers, like 567. Word form spells out the number in words, like "five hundred sixty-seven". Expanded form breaks the number down into its component parts, like 500+60+7.

What does "regrouping" mean?

Regrouping is when we exchange ten of one kind of unit for one of the next unit. For example, we can regroup ten ones into one ten, or ten tens into one hundred.
For example, we can regroup 50 tens into 5 hundreds.
An image of a place value table with three columns labeled, from left to right, hundreds, tens, and ones. In the tens columns, there are 50 tens rods crossed out. Each group of 10 tens rods has an arrow pointing to the hundreds column. There are 5 hundreds blocks.

What are even and odd numbers?

An even number is a number that can be split into 2 equal groups.
We find even numbers by making sure every object in the group has a pair.
Image of 6 cookies, split into columns of 2. There are 3 columns of two cookies.
Examples of even numbers are 2,4,6,8,10,...
An odd number cannot be split into 2 equal groups.
We find odd numbers by trying to pair objects and finding there is not always a pair.
Image of 5 cookies, split into rows of 2. There are 2 rows of two cookies, and 1 row of one cookie.
Examples of odd numbers are 1,3,5,7,9,...

How do we compare two numbers?

We usually start by looking at the leftmost digit. If one number has a larger digit there, it's bigger. If the digits are the same, we move on to the next digit and compare those. If the numbers are the same all the way through, they're equal!

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