Year 2

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We can read and write two-digit and three-digit numbers

Year 2 Unit 1

What we are learning:

  • Children need to be able to recognize, read, say and write two-digit numbers (e.g. 56, 92, 53) and three-digit numbers (e.g. 176, 394, 527)
  • This may seem fairly straight forward but there are many ‘tricky’ ones.
    Here are some of the ‘tricky’ ones:
    – Two-digit numbers that sound very similar, 13 and 30, 14 and 40, 15 and 50, 16 and 60, 17 and 70, 18 and 80, 19 and 90.
    – It is very important to encourage your child to say numbers as clearly as possible (and to say them clearly yourself) – you need to be able to hear clearly whether they are saying “fourteen” or “forty” – the end sound on these words is very important and being clear helps your child to develop their understanding. Count out 13 objects and then 30 objects and compare them – so that your child really develops an understanding that these two numbers are not the same.
    – Two-digit numbers that use the same two digits as the ‘teen’ numbers are also ‘tricky’- 13 and 31, 14 and 41, 15 and 51, 16 and 61, 17 and 71, 18 and 81, 19 and 91. Although they sound very different when we say these numbers, when we write these ‘teen’ numbers we write them in a different order to how we say them. We say ‘seventeen’ but we write this as 17 – we change the order of the digits to write it. Whereas, we say ‘seventy-one’ and write 71 – the digits are in the order in which we say them.
    – Other tricky numbers are three-digit numbers with a zero in the tens place 103, 409 – the zero is the “place holder”
    – Others are three-digit numbers where all the digits are the same 333, 777
  • Again we need to clear about how we say three-digit numbers.
    – Be clear about ‘ty’ and ‘teen’ endings – see above
    – 342 – we say “Three hundred and forty-two”. Children sometimes say the “and” in the wrong place or miss it out – don’t worry, this is very common and the more experience they get at saying three-digit numbers the quicker they will learn.

Activities you can do at home:

Find and read numbers together at home, when outside, shopping – amounts on the side of packets, cans, bottles, registration plates, at the petrol station…
– Write numbers in sequence together
– Write in missing numbers on lines, in grids or tracks
– Have numbers written on post-it notes/cards – ask your child to close their eyes. Remove one leaving the space – ask your child to say what is missing, do the same but this time close the gap- identify which one is missing and ask your child to put it back in the correct place. Take turns in playing this game where your child takes one of the cards and you have to identify which number is missing.
– Muddle up the numbers and reorder – how quickly can you do it? – make it fun. You do this too – make deliberate mistakes for your child to correct.
– Order non-sequential numbers and include the ‘tricky’ ones. So order sets of numbers like this 18, 51, 28, 73, 15, 81, 52
– Write the numbers on post-it notes or pieces of paper:
Place them in order as if they were on number line with the correct size space between each number. Ask – “Which numbers have the biggest space between them?” “Why is this” Place a blank post-it note or piece of paper in one of the spaces and ask “Which number would go here?” “How do you know?”

Good questions to ask:

How do we say this number?
How do we write this number? Can you write it down?
Can you count on/back from this number?

If your child:

Confuses some tricky numbers, e.g. 15 and 50
Check with your child whether this is a case of mispronunciation, i.e. they know the right answer but are not clear in the way they are saying it, or whether they are unsure about the actual value of the number itself. If they are pronouncing it wrongly, practise saying the numbers together. If they do not know the value of the numbers, look at the numbers with real objects to secure their understanding.

Extension Activity

Please use this activity when you think your child understands the unit of work. It will deepen and extend your child’s understanding of this unit.


Extension activity (PDF)