January 3, 2017

Operations in Base Ten: Place Value Blocks

Much of the nation concurs Common Core Math Standards is a useful tool for educating young people. The goal is that students develop greater depth of knowledge in mathematics early on. Challenging students in earlier years often challenges parents and educators as well.

Place Value Song

Beginning in kindergarten, the math standards encourage exploration of operations in base ten. This means elementary students should be able to demonstrate understanding of place value. To name a few ways, learners who master place value standards can...
  • use objects or drawings to compose and decompose numbers based on place value.
  • use symbols to compare numbers based on place value.
  • read, write, and represent a number of objects using base ten numbers and expanded form.
  • fluently add and subtract using place value strategies. 


Hands-On Base Ten Blocks

In my experience, students are equally bored with reading about place value concepts as adults. Learners of all ages enjoy hands-on experiences. They want to touch and feel concepts of composition, decomposition, comparison, and so on. A free, two-dimensional solution involves printing Base Ten Tools offered by fellow Teachers Pay Teachers seller, Heather Ayers. The only types of resources having greater potential for student engagement are three-dimensional manipulatives like Assessment Services Hands-on Base Ten Blocks.

Hands-on Place Value Learning Activity

When the stage is set for hands-on activities, anticipation and excitement build as students enter the learning environment. Eyes widen. Smiles spread. Spirit fingers ripple. Math manipulatives hook learners in a way that changes their mental state immediately. Hands-on learning adds context and meaning to standards. Students interact with content as oppose to simply absorbing (and usually forgetting) humdrum theory and examples. This is especially true for young students with fleeting attention spans. For instance, identifying patterns and skip counting are challenging concepts for elementary students. With a little guidance and think time (or wait time), one client made new connections using place value blocks.



Jackson Education Support offers hands-on experiences to learners of all ages. Specialty subjects include literacy, math, and science. One-on-one and small group support options available. Visit je411.com to learn more.