Arithmetic properties

This tutorial will help us make sure we can go deep on arithmetic. We'll explore various ways to represent whole numbers, place value, order of operations, rounding and various other properties of arithmetic.

Place value

You've been counting for a while now. It's second nature to go from "9" to "10" or "99" to "100", but what are you really doing when you add another digit? How do we represent so many numbers (really as many as we want) with only 10 number symbols (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)? In this tutorial you'll learn about place value. This is key to better understanding what you're really doing when you count, carry, regroup, multiply and divide with mult-digit numbers. If you really think about it, it might change your worldview forever!

Rounding whole numbers

If you're looking to create an army of robot dogs, will it really make a difference if you have 10,300 dogs, 9,997 dogs or 10,005 dogs? Probably not. All you really care about is how many dogs you have to, say, the nearest thousand (10,000 dogs). In this tutorial, you'll learn about conventions for rounding whole numbers. Very useful when you might not need to (or cannot) be completely precise.

Regrouping whole numbers

Regrouping involves taking value from one place and giving it to another. It is a great way to make sure you understand place value. It is also super useful when subtracting multi-digit numbers (the process is often called "borrowing" even though you never really "pay back" the value taken from one place and given to another).

Arithmetic properties

2 + 3 = 3 + 2, 6 x 4 = 4 x 6. Adding zero to a number does not change the number. Likewise, multiplying a number by 1 does not change it. You may already know these things from working through other tutorials, but some people (not us) like to give these properties names that sound far more complicated than the property themselves. This tutorial (which we're not a fan of), is here just in case you're asked to identify the "Commutative Law of Multiplication". We believe the important thing isn't the fancy label, but the underlying idea (which isn't that fancy).