A **number** answers the question, “How many?” Numbers are used in **counting** to find out how many things there are. One counts by sequentially calling out for each item, one, two, three, four, five, and so on.

Counting starts from ONE and not from zero. **Zero** is not used in counting because zero stands for “nothing.” Zero is useful in marking the absence of a count. Therefore, zero is used in writing numbers where an absence of count is implied.

Numbers are written by combining symbols called **digits,** much like words are written by combining symbols called letters. We have twenty-six letters that combine to make thousands of different words. We have only ten digits that combine to make infinity of different numbers.

There are ten different digits – 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. The number FIVE is written with only one digit 5. The number FIFTEEN is written with two digits 1 and 5 as 15. All possible numbers can be written just with these ten digits.

The numbers are written in a compact form by using the trick of regrouping. We regroup ten pennies as one dime. Similarly, we regroup ten ONES as one TEN; ten TENS as one HUNDRED; ten HUNDREDS as one THOUSAND; and so on.

The number 15 represents “1 TEN and 5 UNITS.” The number 264 represents “2 HUNDREDS, 6 TENS, and 4 UNITS.” The values of UNIT, TEN, HUNDRED, THOUSAND, etc., are called **place values**, because they are applied to a digit depending on where it appears in a number. The best way to understand place values is by means of a counting board called **Abacus**, which is described in the document referenced below.

Ten is very important in our numbering system as can be seen in this discussion. It was chosen because we have ten fingers that were used for counting in the beginning. Here are some exercises in this subject for the kindergarten level.

**LEVEL K2: NUMBERS & PLACE VALUES**

“Numbers and Place Values” forms the foundation of the subject of ARITHMETIC. Arithmetic literally means, “Skill with numbers.” Arithmetic helps one find the answers to problems involving numbers

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