Revisiting Place Value in Year 3 Maths

Utilising the concrete, pictorial, abstract (CPA) approach in Year 3 maths…

Year 3 students spent some time reviewing place value in maths using the concrete, pictorial, abstract (CPA) approach. While this review may often be viewed as unnecessary, it is vital for young students to develop a solid understanding of the place value of each digit in a number, further solidifying students’ fundamental base knowledge for all areas of maths. Doing so provides the foundation for understanding our number system, as well as other number systems, such as Roman Numerals. Without this base knowledge, processes such as multi-digit multiplication would not be possible.

At Bangkok Patana, all Primary Year groups first learn through concrete resources, then adapt this view to a pictorial approach, finally relating it to the abstract, or written, method. The focus of Year 3 maths has been to reacquaint students with concrete resources, particularly important after an extended period of online learning throughout the pandemic. Being able to physically manipulate real resources, namely dienes, rods and place value counters, enable Year 3 students to explore the value of each digit in a number, with some students exploring numbers over 1,000!