Place value simply refers to the value of each digit in a number. For example, 7 in 70 represents 7 tens but 7 in 5700 represents 7 hundred. This concept becomes challenging to understand because even if the digit remains the same but the value changes. Although place value is the basic concept underlying most mathematical processes, it is quite important in real life as well. Place value provides a foundation for making decisions in everyday life regarding costs, weight, distances, time, and so on.
However, when the teachers or parents introduce and give examples to the students as to where it is used in real life, their approach towards the topic would be positively impacted. Hence. Here are some real-life examples of place value that can give insights to students as to where this concept is used practically.
Place Value: Where is it used in real life?
There are plenty of math concepts that are consciously and unconsciously used in our daily lives; similarly, place value is as relevant and essential in everyday life as it is in arithmetics. Following are some real-life aspects that can not be maneuvered without an understanding of place value.
Time is one area that would make no sense if one cannot understand what value the digit represents. For example, if the time is 3:30 PM, it translates into 3 hours and 30 minutes. Both the digits are 3 but hold a completely different value. If they were considered to be of the same value and not understood by their place in the systems of the time, it would be nearly impossible for people to live at the same time and keep its track.
In the absence of knowing place value, calendars would become hard to comprehend. Years, months, weeks, and days, all overlap with the same digits. The date 29/07/2022 represents the 29th day of the 7th month of the year 2022. The 2 in 29 and the 2 in 2022 hold completely different meanings. This would impair understanding of days and events of the past and future. All one would be left with is- today, tomorrow, and yesterday. This way, living and performing basic tasks will become difficult.
Scores and place value are similarly connected. Scoring 7/100 and 70/100 is completely different. Understanding place value would here mean getting a score of 7 out of 100 and 7 tens out of a hundred.
Place value has a very important role to play when it comes to our financial affairs of daily life. Paying bills, reading the price tags, and maintaining any kind of finances requires a clear understanding of place value. Imagine walking into a store and reading the retail price for some groceries, to be 25 rupees and 42 rupees. Now, in this case, if a person does not understand how many tens and ones the digits represent, it is nearly impossible for them to pay for it and buy it. Some assumptions may include 2 and 5 rupees separately or 4 and two rupees. This will be done without having a thorough understanding of how 25 means 2 tens and 5 ones, and 42 means 4 tens and 2 ones.
Without an understanding of place value, simple things like board signs showing a place is, for example, 50kms away, or turn right after 5.2kms, will seem ambiguous and lead to misdirection.
Place value means the value a digit represents. Having explained how place value is not just a part of mathematics but also of our daily lives, it can be said that moving ahead with a normal life can get strenuous. To make the smallest decisions like waking up at a certain time, buying a packet of chips, paying the bill at a restaurant, or choosing a particular route for travel, one requires clarity and a hands-on understanding of place value. No matter how much one is assisted by the other, it seems vital for every individual to have a clear understanding of place value to lead go about their general chores on a daily basis.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,