Deepening Place Value Understanding in K-2 Through Explanation and Justification

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Proceedings of the Interdisciplinary STEM Teaching and Learning Conference


This paper seeks to describe the importance of using the context of a candy shop and how focusing ondiscourse can deepen place value understanding in the base ten number system. Using the language of pieces(ones), rolls (tens), and boxes (hundreds) helps situate place value in a familiar context for K-2 students. Bestpractice in mathematics instruction is also addressed, including examining the progression of learning forplace value concepts, using effective tools to support place value learning, and using explanation andjustification to help students deepen their understanding of place value. The authors focus not only on contentand pedagogy, but also show how the content connects to the Mathematical Practices and ELA Speaking andListening standards. The purpose of this paper is to give current teachers something to think about as theyplan lessons on place value in their K-2 classrooms. The authors also want to give teachers a reasonwhydiscourse can help both them and their students as they progress through content.