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The power of ten

The power of ten

The place value system was developed as an efficient way to count and record large numbers. Groupings of 10 allow students to efficiently combine, separate or find the difference between two-digit numbers.

Using place value to simplify calculations that are cumbersome with ones is a good way to convince students of the power of the place value system.

Pose addition and subtraction problems -- in context -- that can be solved using place value with no renaming (e.g. 45 + 53 = ? or 127 – 63 = ?).

These problems can be solved using jumping or splitting strategies. Jumping strategies tend to be more reliable as mental strategies whereas splitting strategies are closely related to written algorithms that use place value columns.

You can watch the Splitting Strategies and Jumping Strategies videos.


You can download the Splitting Strategies video transcript.


You can download the Jumping Strategies video transcript.


Jumping strategies can be practised using the empty number line applet on the New Zealand Maths website.




Name Class Section
Document Year 2: Solve simple addition and subtraction problems using a range of efficient mental and written strategies Infobox 3
Document Year 3: Apply place value to partition, rearrange and regroup numbers to at least 10 000 to assist calculations and solve problems Infobox 3
Document Source Infobox 3