6th Grade Math: Using Large Numbers

In 6th grade math, you'll encounter large numbers across the curriculum, but you're most likely to work with them when you're studying the number system and statistics. For details, keep reading!

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Large Numbers in 6th Grade

The Number System

In a typical 6th grade math class, you'll spend quite a bit of time studying rational numbers, which include positive and negative integers, decimals and fractions. You'll also perform basic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division on multi-digit numbers and decimals.

Large Number Operations

Since operations with large numbers may take a long time, it's easy to get so caught up in the calculations that you lose track of what you were actually trying to figure out. As a result, it's critical to keep your calculations neat and organized. If you don't, you might lose track of where you are in a problem. It helps to use graph paper or a ruler to stay organized. Once you arrive at a solution, it's a good idea to read the problem again to be sure that you've answered what was asked and provided the correct units for your answer.

Number Properties

You may also encounter large numbers when you're learning about number properties like absolute value. For this type of problem, the trick is not to be thrown off by the appearance of a large number. Number properties are the same no matter how large or small a number is, and teachers may throw in a large number or decimal just to make sure that you understand this.

It can also be helpful to memorize the place value names for larger numbers. Let's use the number 1,234,567,890 as an example. Here are the names for each place:

0 = ones
9 = tens
8 = hundreds
7 = thousands
6 = ten thousands
5 = hundred thousands
4 = millions
3 = ten millions
2 = hundred millions
1 = billions


Since statistics often deals with large populations of individuals, you may have to work with large numbers when you're learning about it. For example, data collected from the entire U.S. population will be in the million range.

When analyzing this type of data, you'll need to take special care to interpret its graph appropriately. For instance, if you're interpreting a graph of the test scores of all of the students in your school district, the intervals representing the number of students might be labeled in thousands instead of ones, tens or hundreds.

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