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Place Value: How to Assess Students’ Understanding (Marilyn Burns Interviews)

Student Interviews


If you’re familiar with Cooks Illustrated magazine, you know that they use their test kitchen to tinker with recipes and improve on them. In each issue, they report on all of the attempts they make and then finally present a recipe they recommend. In a way, I feel as if my search for a way to assess students’ understanding of place value has gone through a similar math teaching test kitchen.

By the end of first grade, students are expected to understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. In second grade, they extend their understanding to three-digit numbers and the meaning of the digits in the hundreds, tens, and ones places.

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