Virtual Base 10 Blocks

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It seems like all teachers who have been lucky enough to get base 10 blocks guard them closely. They’re expensive and easy to lose. In many classrooms, there’s never enough base ten sets to go around. Students can be rushed through visually understanding base ten when there aren’t enough.

For digital classrooms, virtual base 10 blocks can be a huge resource for teaching base ten easily. I’ve shared some of my favorite virtual tools for the iPad (sticky notes, geoboard, atlas, glossary, dry erase board…) and another fantastic free app I love is Number Pieces. This app simulates base ten blocks and allows students to manipulate the pieces and annotate their screen.

It’s perfect for children learning place value and teachers who want their students to explain their work! You can work with students to create many different sets of base ten blocks to practice addition, subtraction, value and other math skills.

Instead of spending a good chunk of your budget on expensive base ten blocks and then chasing pieces down in your classroom, visual learners can benefit from this free virtual base ten app. It’s one of my favorite apps for math teachers and parents who want to help teach children math concepts at home.

Activities Using Virtual Base Ten Blocks

  1. Ask students to come up with multiple ways to make a number and take screenshots of their work. Here’s a great guide on this base ten activity.
  2. Ask students to write out the word form of numbers after completing addition or subtraction.
  3. Give into students’ inclinations to build with base ten blocks and ask them to build a figure with a specific volume.

Not teaching place value? Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plans for using free apps to teach: Symmetry, Fractions, Polygons, Graphing, and more using iPads with your students!

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    1. Hi Allison! If you tap on the white pen halfway up the left side it will give you the option to choose different colors to write in – then you’ll be able to annotate the work on the screen.

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