Base Ten Blocks Worksheets

About These 15 Worksheets

Base Ten Blocks are a mathematical tool used to teach you about place value, which is an essential concept in math. Place value is all about the ‘position’ or ‘place’ a digit holds in a number. For example, in the number ‘365’, ‘3’ is in the hundreds place, ‘6’ is in the tens place, and ‘5’ is in the ones place. Each of these places has a different value.

In Base Ten Blocks, we usually have four types of blocks.

  • The small cube, which we call a “unit” or “ones block”, represents the number 1.
  • The long stick, also known as a “ten rod”, represents the number 10 (Imagine a stack of 10 units).
  • The flat square, often called a “hundred flat”, stands for 100 (Think of it as 10 rods put together).
  • The large cube, which we call a “thousand block”, represents 1000 (This is like having 10 flats combined).

Base Ten Blocks Worksheets, then, are pages full of exercises or problems that use these blocks. The worksheets are designed to help you learn and understand number values, how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide, and even decimals and fractions! They visually show the breakdown of numbers into hundreds, tens, and ones.

For instance, let’s say you have a problem where you need to subtract 352 from 400. You’d start with 4 hundred flats (representing 400). Then you would ‘breakdown’ or ‘exchange’ one of the hundred flats into 10 ten rods, so you could subtract 5 ten rods (representing 50). Finally, you would breakdown one of the ten rods into 10 unit blocks, so you could subtract 2 unit blocks (representing 2). This makes it clear to see what’s happening when you do subtraction.

What Are Base Ten Blocks?

Base ten blocks are a set of manipulatives used in mathematics education to help students understand and visualize the base-10 number system. These blocks are particularly useful for teaching place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Base ten blocks come in different sizes and shapes, each representing a different value based on the base-10 system. The most common types of base ten blocks are:

Unit Blocks – These are small cubes that represent the number 1. They are the basic building block of the set and are used to represent single-digit values.

Rods (or longs) – A rod is a rectangular block made up of 10 unit blocks placed in a row. It represents the number 10 and is used to illustrate the concept of tens.

Flats (or squares) – A flat is a square block made up of 10 rods arranged in a 10×10 grid. It represents the number 100 and is used to demonstrate the concept of hundreds.

Cubes (or thousands) – A cube is a large block made up of 10 flats stacked on top of each other, forming a 10x10x10 cube. It represents the number 1000 and is used to show the concept of thousands.

Base ten blocks are effective teaching tools because they allow students to physically manipulate the blocks, which aids in understanding abstract concepts. Some common activities using base ten blocks include:

Building Numbers – Students can use the blocks to represent numbers by combining the appropriate units, rods, flats, and cubes.

Comparing Numbers – Students can compare the sizes of numbers by comparing the collections of blocks they build.

Addition and Subtraction – Students can perform addition and subtraction by combining or taking away blocks, visually demonstrating the process.

Multiplication and Division – Students can use the blocks to understand multiplication as repeated addition and division as repeated subtraction or equal grouping.

How Can You Learn the Concept of Place Value From Base Ten Blocks?

Base ten blocks are excellent tools for teaching place value, as they provide a visual and tactile representation of the base-10 number system. To learn place value using base ten blocks, follow these steps:

Introduce the Blocks – Start by introducing the different types of base ten blocks to the students – unit blocks (1s), rods (10s), flats (100s), and cubes (1000s). Explain that each type of block represents a different place value in the base-10 system.

Build Numbers – Have students practice building different numbers using the base ten blocks. For example, to create the number 243, they would use 2 flats (100s), 4 rods (10s), and 3 unit blocks (1s). This activity helps students visualize the composition of numbers in terms of place values.

Compare Numbers – Encourage students to compare the sizes of different numbers by comparing the collections of blocks they build. This helps them understand that the position of each digit in a number determines its value.

Expand Numbers – Teach students to expand numbers into their place value components. For example, the number 243 can be expanded as 200 + 40 + 3. Using base ten blocks, students can see the relationship between the expanded form and the blocks used to build the number.

Regrouping – Teach students how to regroup blocks when adding or subtracting numbers. For example, when adding 28 and 37, they would first build the numbers using base ten blocks (2 rods and 8 units for 28, 3 rods and 7 units for 37) and then combine the blocks. They would notice that they have 15 units, which can be regrouped into 1 rod and 5 units. The final result would be 6 rods and 5 units, or 65.

Practice – Provide students with ample opportunities to practice building, comparing, and regrouping numbers using base ten blocks. Worksheets, games, and group activities can help reinforce the concept of place value.

By using base ten blocks to learn place value, students can develop a strong understanding of the base-10 number system and build a foundation for more advanced mathematical concepts.