page loader

How to use our Place Value Number Photographs

« Go back

Number 52Motorbike number 181 Bev Dunbar Maths Matters1771 Bev Dunbar Maths MattersOdometer reading 87 000 km - Bev Dunbar Maths MattersNumber 150713 Bev Dunbar Maths Matters





Maths Matters Resources is dedicated to helping you create real-life links in your maths classroom.

What are you trying to do?

  • Use a real life example of number for a Place Value mental warm-up with your students

What do you need?

  • Any of our Maths Matters Resources Place Value Photographs, such as house and letterbox numbers (e.g. on your electronic whiteboard)
  • Up to the whole class

What do you do?

  • Talk about all the places you see real-life examples of numbers.
  • Show the photograph e.g. 52. Ask the students to face a partner. On a given signal, each team has 1 minute to think of as many different things they know using that number as an example. 
  • “It is a 2-digit number, it’s larger than 50 but less than 100, it’s an even number, it’s a multiple of 2, 3 fewer than 55, half of 104, double is 26, 10 groups of 5 and 2 more, 52 is the age of my aunty, you could buy a pair of shoes for $52, 10 less than 65, that’s 10 pasta sticks plus 2 extra pieces of pasta, if I put 52 buttons into groups of 5 I would have 2 left over …”.
  • At the end of the minute, discuss some of the discoveries with the whole class. Are there any misunderstandings?


  • Collect your own photographs of real life numbers for future mental warm-ups. e.g. How many different ways can you model this number? Beansticks, pasta sticks, Base 10 materials, groups of 10s and 1s pelicans, shells, alpacas (see our Place Value Photographs …)
  • Use the photograph on an activity card or electronic whiteboard as part of a place value discussion with your students. e.g. Count by 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s to and from 52, try to add multiples of 52 – what’s the highest number you can reach?