Place value story

Any Grade 2 teacher in the Mumbai cohort has a fair share of stories to tell about the trials and tribulations specific to this grade. I happen to be a part of this exclusive club and so I have a few things to say (or should I say share?) as well.

The one topic that caused a lot of grief across the four classrooms of Grade 2 is place value. Being abstract as it is, it was nearly impossible to explain to the kids why 5 while being 5 could have the value 50 or 500 in a number.

During one such fateful place value session in the first week of summer school, I wrote H T U (stands for Hundreds, Tens and Units) on the board and pointed to each place explaining that H stands for hundreds, T for tens and U for units. I then pointed again to H T U and read out loudly “H”, “T”, “U” while gesturing to my students to say what it stands for. In perfect sync my entire class screamed back saying H T U – HUT!

I did not know if I should laugh or cry in the given situation which clearly showed that neither Math nor English was currently the forte of my students.

This is just one of the many things that have instilled a deep stated fear for Grade 2 and an immense respect for those who will finally be teaching this grade. I bow to Thee.

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