Teaching kids place value can always be something that may or may not prove to be difficult. I remember teaching students to use base ten blocks as hands-on manipulative in my classroom years ago. Today, I had second and third graders create objects (houses, creatures, or people) using base ten blocks. This particular application (Number Pieces) can be accessed through a web browser or iOS device. Click here for the web link and click here for the iOS app.
I love this on either the computer or iPad because students are able to click and drag (or tap and drag) the base ten blocks to create a picture. Once their picture is complete, they count up the blocks and write the number with the pen feature. It’s always great to give students the ability to be creative in math and I was very happy with what they created. This activity allowed students to interact with base ten blocks and revisit the place value system. Another option would be giving students a list of numbers to create and have them create the numbers using the blocks and have a friend check for accuracy. It’s all the fun with base ten blocks without needing the real blocks!
Here are a few samples from my class today: