## Place Value and Money: When Students Ask

**Why should I learn about place value and money?**

Use this question to initiate a class discussion about situations where*not*knowing much about place value or money would be a problem. Here are a few suggestions.- You give a clerk a $20 bill for a hat that costs $8.95. The clerk gives you a nickel and a $1 bill in change. (You are missing $10.00.)
- The class that collects the most canned goods for the canned food drive gets a trip to the amusement park. Your class collected 1,547 canned goods. The other fourth-grade class collected 1,457. It's up to you to determine the winner. (1,547>1,457)

**Why do I have to put commas in numbers?**

Explain to students that commas are used to separate periods, or groups of three digits in a number. They can use commas to help them read greater numbers. When they see a comma, they say the name of the period.642,700,391 ---> six hundred forty-two

**million,**seven hundred**thousand,**three hundred ninety-one**When I count money, why should I start with the bill or coin of the greatest value?**

Give students an example to illustrate that counting money of decreasing value is easier than counting money of increasing value.**Why do I have to start at the left to compare numbers? Why can't I start at the right?**

Point out to students that they compare numbers starting with the greatest place value. The greatest place value is the place on the far left.