By Year 5 children are expected to be working with larger numbers, including hundreds of thousands and millions. However, many children, and indeed adults, find it very difficult to read large numbers correctly. The solution is to section the digits off into groups of three, starting with the hundreds, tens and ones.
Let’s look at the number 123456789
You will find this written with a space between each group of three, e.g.123 456 789
or as in the SAT papers, with commas e.g. 123,456,789
Working from right to left, the first group of three is read as hundreds, tens and ones.
e.g.789 is seven hundred and eighty nine
The second group of three is read as hundreds, tens and ones of thousands.
e.g. 456 789 is four hundred and fifty six thousand, seven hundred and eighty nine
The third group of three is read as hundreds, tens and ones of millions.
So: 123 456 789 is one hundred and twenty three million, four hundred and fifty six thousand, seven hundred and eighty nine
Whilst we read the number from left to right, working out the value of the first digit is easier by working in threes from right to left!
There is a considerable emphasis on using large numbers in Years 5 and 6. For example, the new targets for Year 5 Number includes:
round any number up to 1 000 000 to the nearest 10, 100, 1000, 10 000 and 100 000
Now this might sound fairly straightforward but for many children it will pose considerable difficulty. By Year 5, children should already be able to round to the nearest 10, 100 and probably 1 000, but dealing with very large numbers can cause confusion.
When rounding to the nearest 10 000 the key figure is the thousands digit. If the thousands digit is 5 or above, round up. If it is below 5, round down.
e.g. 327 550 is 330 000 to the nearest 10 000.
324 259 is 320 000 to the nearest 10 000
(Note that when rounding to the nearest 10 000 it does not matter what the hundreds, tens or ones digits are, it is the THOUSANDS digit which must be looked at.)
When rounding to the nearest 100 000 the key figure is the ten thousands digit. If the ten thousands digit is 5 or above, round up. If it is below 5, round down.
e.g. 277 550 is 300 000 to the nearest 100 000.
237 259 is 200 000 to the nearest 100 000
Other targets in Year 5 Number include negative numbers and understanding Roman numerals.
Reading Roman numerals up to 1 000 is a target, including recognising years written in Roman numerals.
Interpreting negative numbers in context is also part of the Year 5 programme, often in the context of temperature measurement.
We have just re-organised our Year 5 Number and Place Value resources to reflect these strands and to make resources easier to find.
We hope you enjoy the improvements.