Using Place Value to Understand Addition


Adding two digit numbers can seem like an easy enough task to those of us who have been doing it for a long time!  But for elementary students it can sometimes be confusing, especially if there is regrouping involved.

It is helpful to most students to start with something concrete, like place value blocks. Before I teach students the standard algorithm for adding two digit numbers, we spend time exploring with place value blocks.  This leads into the partial sums strategy (also known as expanded form strategy). Below is a brief overview of starting the strategy using blocks.


Eventually the students will practice the strategy without the blocks and then we move into other addition strategies such as number lines and the algorithm.

  More Addition Resources:


Interactive Notes and Practice Pages for addition with partial sums. Includes 2 and 3 digit numbers.


Partial Sums Addition Card Game: Practice 2 and 3 digit addition with Partial Sums while playing a fun card game. Includes record sheet and answer key.


Addition With Partial Sums Scavenger Hunt and Record Sheet: A great way to get students up and moving while practicing Math! Includes 2 and 3 digit numbers.


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