how to teach regrouping with place value disks, learn with emily dot com

How to Teach Regrouping with Place Value Disks

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Regrouping came up in my 2nd grader’s math work. As this would be her first introduction to regrouping, I knew we would need to work through the process using manipulatives. Place value disks make it easy to see and exchange sets of numbers in problems that require regrouping.

I found the Learning Resources Place Value Disks on Amazon and knew they would be perfect for introducing regrouping skills. They are made of foam and have a 1″ diameter. The color coding of each place value (e.g., ones, hundreds, etc.) makes it easy to find the ones you need for each math calculation.

How to Teach Regrouping with Place Value Disks

Step 1: Write out your problem large enough to use with the 1″ place value disks.

Step 2: Place a set of disks either on or above the problem to represent each number.

Step 3: Demonstrate adding in each column. Also demonstrate how to exchange a set of 10 disks for 1 of the next value disks. In addition, demonstrate where to recored the regrouped number in the column.

First, add the numbers in the ones column.

Next, add the numbers in the tens column.






We had to regroup the tens as there were 11 of them. Exchange a pile of ten place value disks for a 100 place value disk and record the regrouped number in the hundred’s column.

Continue moving to the left and add the numbers in the hundred’s column.

Last, add the numbers in the thousand’s column.

Final thoughts on teaching regrouping skills

Initially, you will need to model all of the steps using the disks. As you continue to practice with the disks, shift your teaching to guided practice by allowing the child to do more and more of the process by themselves. Correct and help as needed. As the child progresses, feel free to fade out the disks as the child is successful with the process.

CLICK HERE to read about other must-have math manipulatives.


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