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  • Bran Hicks M.Ed.

A Guide to Teaching Reading and Writing Multi-Digit Whole Numbers

If you're teaching fourth-grade math this year, then you'll definitely want to check out this guide to mastering numbers. In it, we'll cover everything from counting and writing numbers to modeling number operations. With these tips in hand, you'll be able to help your students master the basics of arithmetic and beyond!


Start With the Basics – Review Counting From 1 to 100 With Your Students


Teaching number sense to children can be an important first step in their early mathematics education. An effective way to do this is by having them review counting from 1 to 100. Introducing number sequences can help your students understand number order and place value while expanding the form of numbers engages them more deeply.


For example, when reviewing the number "58", you can point out that it is composed of 5 tens and 8 ones; this helps students understand that each digit contributes to the number's value, laying down a foundation for them to connect numerals with their concept of quantity.

Scaffold Place Value Learning With Base Ten Blocks

Practicing number sense from 1-100 is a great starting point for developing students' math skills!


Help Them Understand Place Value by Having Them Write Numbers in Expanded Form


Teaching students place value isn't always a straightforward task, but giving them hands-on practice with expanded form can make it easier to comprehend and retain.


Have the students write out a number in expanded form-which is when all of its individual digits are expanded by their corresponding place values, such as 10 tens or 100 hundreds-to get an understanding of how place values work. Once they understand the expanded form, they may find it easier to switch back to the standard form.

Scaffold Place Value Learning Using Expanded Form

To further test their knowledge, you could have them draw out a number line and include expanded form labels on each mark on the line or create expanded numbers from ones given in standard form. This will ensure that each student gets the most out of the lesson and really delves into the concept of place value.


Comparing and Ordering Whole Numbers Less Than 1000

Comparing and ordering whole numbers less than 1000 is a great skill to help develop number sense. A good strategy for this is to use greater than (>) and less than (<) signs or base ten blocks.