ITP Moving Digits

This is an updated version of the National Numeracy Strategy Interactive Teaching Program (ITP) that was first released in the UK in the late 1990s. It can be found (along with other ITPs) at this site https://mathsframe.co.uk/en/resources/category/586/ITPs which allows all the ITPs to be run on any device. It is especially useful to help students see what happens when you multiply or divide by 10, 100, 1000 etc and to help them understand that multiplying by 10 is more than just ‘stick a zero at the end’ and that dividing by 1000 is more than just ‘move the decimal point three places to the right.

The actual page for Moving Digits (https://mathsframe.co.uk/en/resources/resource/60/itp-moving-digits) has a picture which links you to the actual activity:

Once open, you can create numbers by clicking once on the digits at the top of the screen and then dragging them to the required place value. Two numbers can be created: the top number which can be multiplied or divided by 10 or 100, and the bottom number which can be used as an original number to compare to the top number.

Additionally, the ‘HTU’ button can change the headings in each place value column.

To help students see that that multiplying by 10 has the effect of making each digit ten times bigger (thus moving the digits one column to the left), you can create two identical numbers like so:

And then press the ‘x10’ button a couple of times:

Likewise, we can show the effects of dividing by ten by creating a new number then pressing the ‘÷10’ button a few times:

It is worthwhile at this point getting students to see that when we multiply or divide by powers of ten, the digits move together and ‘stick’ together: random zeroes are not placed between any of these digits! A blog post describing how this was used in a class can be found here: https://themathguy.blogspot.com/2019/04/more-than-adding-zeroes.html