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Right-Brained Place Value (Adding & Subtracting Numbers Over 10)

by Sarah K Major November 08, 2017

Right-Brained Place Value (Adding & Subtracting Numbers Over 10)

Right-Brained Place Value builds upon the foundation laid in Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction. If you have not used Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction, we urge you start there. Here is a link that will take you to that book.


Right-Brained Place Value


Sarah has designed visual systems for learning place value that build on the systems taught in Right Brained Addition & Subtraction for numbers up to 10. Right-Brained Place Value also uses Visuals, Patterns, Stories, and Body Motions to reach right-brained kinesthetic learners.


Right-Brained Place Value

Content of Each Book

In Addition & Subtraction, students were given the global view of computation to ten which showed them that there are a limited number of ways to make each number.

Children learn number trios which allows them to add or subtract with ease.

When we look at the global view of numbers computations to 20 you will see that the green represents what the students have already learned in the addition and subtraction book. Those problems are either making 10s or they are adding simple 1’s.

In the green boxes students will be making numbers less than ten which they have already know how to do. 

The numbers on the white background require students to make 10s or break 10s apart which is the focus of this book. Students will learn to add and subtract any numbers over 10.


Right-Brained Place Value


Place Value is all about the position in which you find a number. For instance, a 1 means very different things depending on where you find it. Once children understand WHAT they are doing, HOW to solve problems will become simple. This book does a great job of making sure children understand place value.


Right-Brained Place Value


The focus of Right-Brained Place Value is making and breaking apart 10’s. Because the children are now fluent with facts to 10, computation using numbers larger than 10 is simple. Here’s how we do it:


Right-Brained Place Value


For working with multi-digit numbers Sarah has created a visual of an office building where there are 9 single desks in the office on the right and 9 conference tables in the left office. If all 9 desks are filled in the right building and 3 people walk in to rent space, the property manager takes the 9 original people and one more to make a 10. That 10 moves to the left.

Now we have a group of 10 on the left and 2 people on the right. As more and more people wander in to the right office, the property manager continues to make groups of 10 and moves them to the left.


Right-Brained Place Value


The patterns in numbers become evident when we look at the global charts for each book. There are patterns in actions and procedures – Come in at the right, make a 10, move the 10 to the left.

Patterns emerge when facts are arranged in global charts.

Here we see attic numbers representing the SUM and they increase by 1 as you go to the right.

Numbers form a U shape as you count starting with zero and moving to the attic number.

Number pairs in the bottom row alternate between even and odd pairs.


Right-Brained Place Value

Using Right-Brained Elements:

Right-brained place value breaks every problem down into a three components, Beginning, Action, and Ending, in order to help children think about what is happening and so they can determine what to do.


          1. Beginning, what is the initial number?
          2. Action, are we adding or subtracting?
          3. Ending, what is left after the action occurs?


Right-Brained Place Value



Let’s look at a problem using these three components.

The problem is 11 – 9. Here is the visual.

Beginning there are 11

Action – 9 leave

Ending – 2 are left.


Right-Brained Place Value


Beginning: Once upon a time there were 11 people hard at work.

Action: 9 people were hungry and went home for lunch.

Ending: 2 people stayed, working in the 1’s office.


Right-Brained Place Value


Let’s look at the same problem through a visual/Kinesthetic connection

The procedure to solve the problem makes the shape of a Y (“Y did they leave?” you could ask as a mnemonic)

9 is larger than the 1 in the ones column so we must take from the 10’s 10 minus 9 equals one. Then we add the one to the existing one’s column in the problem 1+1= 2.

If we look at the top part of the y shape used to solve the problem is like a v. this shape will help students to remember how to check their work. Starting at the top left, draw the downward stroke of a V, saying “ten minus nine.” Then complete the upward stroke saying “is one.” This body motion will help them remember to take the leftover 1s to the 1s side and add them to the 1s already there to arrive at the answer.

In order to truly understand place value, the book prompts the teacher to guide the students through making 10s with their bodies!


Right-Brained Place Value


Students learn place value and the steps to analyze the problem is an addition or subtraction problem always using numbers smaller than ten.

For example, if you write a problem 23+42 your students might say “I do not know how to solve this.” However, if you draw a vertical line between number positions, they will see that the problem is easily solved as 2+4 and 3+2, which they do know how to solve. This system allows a student to take on large math problems and break them down with ease.


Right-Brained Place Value


Sarah has also created 3 decks of cards that will allow your students to play many games that are referred to in the lessons. The games are a fun way to reinforce the math facts.  The cards are sold separately or everything can be purchased together in a kit.

Let’s help your student move forward with addition and subtraction to multi-digit numbers and pick up your Right-Brained Place Value book or Kit today. 

Sarah K Major
Sarah K Major


Sarah's absolute belief in every child’s ability to learn, and her passion to empower the child by supporting his/her own unique giftedness have fueled her life’s work and provided a new pathway for children to succeed academically.

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