Identify the place and value of zero in numbers
Identify the place and value of zero in numbers

Identify the place and value of zero in numbers

I can identify the place and value of zero in numbers to 10,000.

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Students learn the place and value of zero in numbers to 10,000. They will also know that the 0 shows that the number does not have any thousands/hundreds/tens/ones and is acting as a placeholder for that place.




It is important to know what the zero shows in a number to understand the composition of numbers.


Show an image with MAB-blocks on the interactive whiteboard and ask students which number is shown. Select a student to give the answer and check the answer by removing the cover.


Using the MAB-blocks, explain what the place value chart is and how to fill it in. Explain that the place value chart represents how many thousands, hundreds, tens and ones are shown by the MAB-blocks. Fill in the number shown, which is 1,111. Next, the hundreds have been taken away. Ask students to complete the place value chart, and ask what they should do about the fact that there are no hundreds. Since leaving it blank is not an option, explain that this is where a zero comes to act as a placeholder for the hundreds. The correct answer should be 1,011. This shows that there are no hundreds in this number. Ask students to determine how many blocks are shown in the next image. The correct answer should be 9,550 blocks. Repeat this exercise with the money shown. To correctly complete the place value chart, students should fill in 0 thousands, 4 hundreds, 6 tens, and 5 ones. You can explain that we usually don't put a 0 at the front of a number when there are no other numbers to the left. Next, ask students what place value the 0 represents in the grand prize shown. Next show students four numbers and ask which number has a zero as a placeholder for the hundreds. The correct answer is 1,030.

Check that students understand recognizing the place value of numbers by asking the following questions:
- What does the zero do in a number?
- Does it matter where in the number the zero is located?
- How many tens are in the number 203?

Guided practice

Students are given a set of problems in which they must determine which value the zero has in a given number, as well as determining which of the given numbers has a 0 in a specific place value.


Discuss the value of knowing the place value of zero in numbers. Ask students to write numbers that have a zero as a placeholder for: hundreds, tens, ones, and thousands. Ask students to show those numbers. You can then ask students to write down the weights of the elephant and cow. Can they write the numbers correctly? Check answers as a class.

Teaching tips

You can ask students to brainstorm real-life situations in which having a zero (or not having a zero) can make a difference. Like ice cream costing 1 dollar or 10 dollars.

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