Understanding place value is important because it helps you understand the magnitude of numbers. Because of place value we know 30 is 10 times bigger than 3 which is a hundred times bigger than 0.03. This would not have been possible with Roman Numerals as they do not have a decimal point, or zero for that matter. Egyptian numerals evolved to include unit fractions but with their complex hieroglyphs place value was still in its infancy.
In secondary school mathematics the place value table underpins so many fundamental mathematical concepts. For students to begin to appreciate the size of a number or how to write numbers in words they need to have a secure understanding of its application.
At the start of every school year I like to go back to using the place value table with Year 7 and Year 8 students.
With Year 7s we use it to:
With Year 8s we use it to:
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