Place Value: Base Ten Blocks

in Math, Tips

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This is the FIRST time my daughter understood what ones, tens, hundreds meant!

To play this game, you need two boards (laminated paper) labelled as you see in the picture, preferably NOT the same color as your blocks.  You also need base ten blocks and three dice.

It’s usually played as “Race to 100″, but I found that we didn’t get enough practice making change for that to help.  We race to three hundred, hence the third die.  With one die, we’d be there all day.

The first player rolls the dice, calculates how many one blocks to pick up, and then makes any necessary exchanges if he has too many blocks in a column.  Play continues until someone reaches 200.  We played this every day for a week.   She still couldn’t “carry” on paper, but at least she got the place value idea.  And kicked my tail at this game, lots.

Variation:  When we started learning borrowing, we played this game BACKWARDS.  Start with three hundred and race to zero.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Jennifer June 10, 2013

In case you are still trying to get your child to reach the symbolic stage, try this to bridge the concrete cubes to symbolic numbers. Keep score on paper. Each person has a piece of paper. When they roll the dice put that number down on the paper. Also get the cubes and put in the correct spot. Next roll line the cubes up under the first roll AND write that number lined up under the first number. As you make the “trades” for tens and hundreds do the same on the paper as you do with the cubes. This really helps make the connection.


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