We are having a hard time with showing how 4 tens = 40 ones, does anyone have any suggestions. When we use the ten blocks and put up say 2 of them they do not know that there are 20 ones there. Just because they do not see any little ones they answer by saying there are no ones. I hope this is not too confusing but does anyone have any suggestions?

The rods with my base ten blocks have faint lines where the ones would be. Do yous have them? If so maybe pointing that out to them. Also they could line up the ones blocks against the rod to see that they equal the same amount. I have a small pocket chart I got through scholastic specifically for place value. It's got 3 pockets across for the column labels (hundreds, tens, ones). Below that are 3 pockets to put little number cards. Below that are pockets for straws. I use it for a school day count so each day we add a straw to the ones column (and change the number card). Once we get ten straws we bundle them with a rubber band and move the whole bundle to the tens column. After a couple of times of that they start to get how a ten is really a group of ten straws. Maybe you could do something like that?

Yes our ten blocks do have the lines and I have pointed them out. I also show them that the ones lined up next to them. I have seen the place value pocket chart. I may look into purchasing one Thanks!

Not too much. How do you do that activity without making it boring? Do you put a ten block out and then just have them show 10 ones by it?

Make up a word problem, say addition, and have them manipulate the ones. Perhaps you could have a laminated picture of the base 10 pieces on a workmat. Have them line up the units in a column (maybe have that drawn on the workmat). Add to the problem until they have more than 10. Make sure they see that they now have a column taller than the tens piece. Have them add the extra units to a second column. And so on. You could also practice with 10 pennies and a dime.

You could also use paper clips. We use them in calendar math to mark the days we've been in school. I have a ones, tens, and hundreds place where we hang them. After our ones paper clip chain gets to be ten long, we move it over to the tens area. Ten chains of ten get moved to the hundreds area and bundled with a piece of yarn.

This year I started something new during calendar. I took a set of overhead base ten blocks and glued magnets to the back. I am adding them to the calendar each day. Once we get ten days, we trade the ones for the tens. We will continue to do this every day all year, eventually trading ten tens for 100, and then continuing until we have 180 days. http://www.bubbleshare.com/album/445711/overview#15826251 You can BARELY see it in this picture, but it's the magnetic board to the left of the calendar.

Try this website and click on base ten blocks. You can take a rod and move it to the unit column and your students can see that ten units make one rod. It will break it up. I hope that you have a tv connection or whiteboard for all students to see this happen. This really helped my students. http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/topic_t_1.html