Place value (the value indicated by where a digit is in a multi-digit number, e.g.: units, tens, hundreds) is one of the keystone concepts in children’s math education. An understanding of place value is necessary for carrying out operations like addition and subtraction with numbers that exceed a single digit. For decades, educators have based their math curricula on the idea that place value is too difficult for most preschoolers to understand.
It’s no secret that success in math is a good predictor of success at life. In education and policy news these days, it seems like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — the so-called STEM fields — dominates the discussion. Yep, as a society, we’ve all grasped on to the fact that math skills are vitally important to the types of stable, high-earning careers as can be found in the modern economy.