This paper seeks to describe the importance of using the context of a candy shop and how focusing on discourse 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. Best practice in mathematics instruction is also addressed, including examining the progression of learning for place value concepts, using effective tools to support place value learning, and using explanation and justification to help students deepen their understanding of place value. The authors focus not only on content and pedagogy, but also show how the content connects to the Mathematical Practices and ELA Speaking and Listening standards. The purpose of this paper is to give current teachers something to think about as they plan lessons on place value in their K-2 classrooms. The authors also want to give teachers a reason why discourse can help both them and their students as they progress through content.

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