Education Technology

It's the Place that Counts

Activity Overview

Students learn to add using place-value material and a calculator. They make connections between base-ten numerals and the quantities they represent.


Students will explore the following concepts in this activity:

  • patterns
  • ordering numbers
  • whole numbers
  • place value
  • comparing numbers
  • addition

About the Lesson

Distribute the student activity page to the class.

For this activity, students will need to make ones blocks, tens blocks, and hundreds blocks out of grid paper or the handout provided in this activity, or commercially made place-value pieces. Have students compare the place-value pieces to convince themselves that a tens block is made up of ten ones blocks (or cubes), and so on.

Have students work in pairs. As one partner puts some place-value pieces in the “Base Ten Pieces” space on the activity sheet, the other partner enters the appropriate commands in the calculator to count the pieces. Finally, have students draw pictures of the base ten pieces they chose.