This free math video shows another way to introduce the concept of place value in the decimal system. This is a more traditional way to do it. People usually use Base Ten blocks, but Cuisenaire Rods work perfectly well, too!

Notice that I don’t tell her the English name for every single number. It is more important at this point that she understand the “tens and ones” concept than that she attach each quantity to a particular name. Eventually it will all come together in her mind that “ten and three” and “thirteen” and “13” are all the same thing.

Let me repeat: It is much more important that children first understand “tens and ones” than that they be able to say “thirteen” when they see “13.”