# how do you explain this

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My just turn 3 girl asked me today ... why is 10 is a 1 and 0...

I know it is place value.. but how will u explain to the sense that a young 3 yrs old will understand??

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You might not be able to really explain it so that she understands it but sometimes just giving her the explanation is good enough by itself. You can just say that it has a 1 in the ten's place and a zero in the one's place.

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"When the 1 and 0 are put together they make a new number: 10!" Same thing with any multi-digit number. When they are right next together they're a new/bigger number.

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I'd tell her that instead of inventing a new picture for every possible number, we only have 10 pictures and we combine them in different ways to mean different numbers.

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I like this one....

I'd tell her that instead of inventing a new picture for every possible number, we only have 10 pictures and we combine them in different ways to mean different numbers.
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You might not be able to really explain it so that she understands it but sometimes just giving her the explanation is good enough by itself. You can just say that it has a 1 in the ten's place and a zero in the one's place.

:iagree: She may or may not be ready to discuss place value, but that's a good answer and can lay a good foundation. When my youngest dd was that age, she had a place value mat with units and rods.

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do you have base ten blocks? They are perfect for visualizing place value!

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Is this a math question or a linguistics question?

I never cared about the math.

I was and still do wonder who decided the word one would mean one ...

I always have silly questions like that.

Dh still teases me for asking completely out of the blue while he was driving me to the hospital to have a baby, "Why do we call grass grass and who decided that color should be called green?"

Dh just :001_huh: and kept on :auto:

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How about using her hands and fingers as an example.

Tell her that individual fingers go where the 0 is, and sets of hands go where the 1 is. You can use the terms tens place and ones place, and tell her those are also hands place and fingers place. So 9 fingers go in the ones place, but when you get to 10, that's a whole set of hands so that counts for one set of hands, or 1 in the tens place. An abacus could help too.

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I like this too.. very creative way

How about using her hands and fingers as an example.

Tell her that individual fingers go where the 0 is' date=' and sets of hands go where the 1 is. You can use the terms tens place and ones place, and tell her those are also hands place and fingers place. So 9 fingers go in the ones place, but when you get to 10, that's a whole set of hands so that counts for one set of hands, or 1 in the tens place. An abacus could help too.[/quote']

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It is true, I can introduce the idea and I did just order the base ten blocks. Thanks a lot for both

:iagree: She may or may not be ready to discuss place value, but that's a good answer and can lay a good foundation. When my youngest dd was that age, she had a place value mat with units and rods.
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that sounds like my daughter. She is full of weird question...

Is this a math question or a linguistics question?

I never cared about the math.

I was and still do wonder who decided the word one would mean one ...

I always have silly questions like that.

Dh still teases me for asking completely out of the blue while he was driving me to the hospital to have a baby, "Why do we call grass grass and who decided that color should be called green?"

Dh just :001_huh: and kept on :auto:

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When you are explaining it you could mention that it means "one set of ten and zero more." An abacus or interlocking blocks could really help. But you could even use legos if that's what you have around...

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