Lessons in Teaching Number and Place Value

A Message from the Authors


Children need to learn about numbers. They need to have a sense of number, a feel for number and a familiarity with numbers if they are going to work with them and handle them efficiently and effectively. Children need to understand the purpose of numbers and be comfortable with them if they are to be confident with numbers.

Our aim in writing this book is to help trainee primary teachers and those supporting trainee teachers to support children in learning about number  The book does this in many ways but most especially through linking theory to its practical application in the classroom. We have focused on aspects of number and place value specifically to ensure in-depth coverage of these areas.

The content of the book is book is structured around the ‘Number and place value’ sections of the programmes of study within the current National Curriculum (2013). The initial chapters provide background information about the overall aims of the National Curriculum as well as an overview of the key elements of the programmes of study for Years 1 to 6, related to number and place value. At the end of the book there is a glossary of terms and a summary of some of the key models, images and resources that are commonly used to support children’s understanding in this area of mathematics.

To provide practical examples of how number and place value can be taught within the primary classroom chapters 4 to 12 are based around some example lessons. These are not intended to be exemplar lesson plans that can simply be picked up and used in their entirety but have been written to provide ideas that can be adapted and developed. Each class is individual and unique and it is therefore impossible to produce a ‘one size fits all’ plan. A key feature of this book is therefore the accompanying text before and after each lesson plan as this is intended to inform some of the decisions that are made as part of the planning process.

These features include:

  • an introduction providing background knowledge about the area of mathematics within the lesson;
  • links to the Teachers’ Standards that form a significant element of the lesson;
  • a commentary to highlight and explore some of the pedagogical approaches used;
  • an overview of potential challenges associated with the lesson, including common errors and misconceptions the children may encounter;
  • some possible suggestions of ways the lesson could be adapted;
  • ideas of ways the learning might be developed in future lessons;
  • key self-evaluation questions to support reflection on practice.

We hope that you enjoy reading the book and exploring some of the important ideas and theories around teaching number and place value.  We also hope that you find the lesson ideas useful and that you  learn from them, adapt them, reflect on them, discuss them with colleagues and go on to plan and deliver effective lessons in your own classroom.


About the Authors

Kath Morgan


Stephanie Suter