Q&A #19903

Teaching decimals with base ten blocks

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Oct 28, 2008 at 21:55:05
Subject: Re: Teaching decimals with base ten blocks

Hi Allie,

You can use the base ten blocks to show decimals the same way you use them to
show whole numbers. You just have to decide which block will be worth one

For example, if you want the flat (the 10 by 10 block) to be worth one whole,
then the big cube (the 10 by 10 by 10 block) would be worth 10, the
long (the 1 by 10 block) will be worth 0.1 (one tenth), and the little cube
will be worth 0.01 (one hundredth).

So, the most efficient way to show an amount like 0.52, you would use 5 of
the longs and 2 of the little cubes.

If you decided to make the long worth one whole, then you would show 10 with
the flat, 100 with the big cube, and the little cube would be worth 0.1 (one
tenth).  You could show decimals worth tenths, but nothing with smaller
pieces (like hundredths or thousandths).

Please let us know if you have more questions about using base ten blocks.

 -Gail, for the T2T service

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