# 16 Ways to Teach Learners to Solve Math Problems Using Columns Are you looking for ways to teach students to solve math problems using columns? If so, keep reading.

1. Teach the student the zero concept in place value (e.g., there are no tens in the number “207” so a zero is put in the tens column).

2. Utilize money ideas to help the student learn place value by association (e.g., \$1.26 is the same as six pennies or six ones, two dimes or two tens, one dollar or one hundred).

3. Give practice with an app or a hand-held educational device that gives instant feedback to the student.

4. Give the student a masked window to help the student use columns accurately.

6. Utilize vertical lines on graph paper to help the student visualize columns and put a single digit in each column.

7. Teach the student to space a number in the ones column and transfer it to the left to the next column from ones to tens, hundreds, thousands, etc.

8. Utilize manipulative objects (e.g., base ten blocks, connecting links, etc.) to give a visual image when teaching the student place value.

9. Give the student many chances to indicate the value of columns in multiple-digit numbers (e.g., 56 = ( ) tens and ( ) ones; 329 = ( ) hundreds, ( ) tens, and ( ) ones; etc.).

10. Give the student color-coded columns to help the student use columns accurately.

11. Praise the student for accurately using columns when solving math problems: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

12. Make the student check all their math facts for accuracy. Praise the student for each correction made in the use of columns.

13. Give the student self-checking learning materials to reinforce the use of columns.

14. Consider using Alexa for the Math Classroom.

15. Try gamifying your math lessons.

16. Consider using one of the apps and tools from our many math app lists:

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