Expanded Form

I’ve had notes from some families asking about students writing numbers in expanded form and looking at the value of particular digits in a number. I hope this post will help clarify this subject for you!

We use place cards from the Montessori program to help us visualize how numbers break apart.

These cards can be stacked on top of each other to show what a number looks like “normally,” then they can be pulled apart to show how much each number is actually worth.

So 427 would expand into

400 + 20 + 7

And 602 would expand into

600 + 0 + 2 (you don’t actually need to write the +0 part, but I do just for consistency)

You can also do the opposite, and turn a three-number addition problem in expanded form back into standard form.

So 800 + 70 + 9 would condense into


and 700 + 3 would become


I will upload more photos to help show this process as they become available!


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