Sunday, October 6, 2013

+10, +100, +1000 Preparation

Adding 10 to any number is pretty straight forward for those who understand place value. RightStart, my preferred math curriculum for primary grades, starts developing base-5 and base-10 concepts from the very beginning. Initially, they even have different names for numbers larger than 10. Twenty is said "two-ten" and 54 would be "5-ten four." It's wierd but it really does help children to understand what the number in the 10's place means.

First Steps: Simple Addition

Before moving on to adding numbers whose sums are greater than 10, first make sure that your child is comfortable with numbers whose sums are equal to or less than 5. Can the student visually recognize up to three objects without counting? Does she understand what addition is? Does she have resources to help her find the sum of two numbers? Is she able to write and recognize numerical expressions of addition and subtraction? Can he name all the possible sums of addends less than or equal to 5? This is also a good time to help your child understand the commutative property (1+2=2+1.)

Once all of the sums up to 5 are a breeze, then help your student to memorize sums up to 10. Start by adding numbers to 5. This is a relatively easy concept because the child can use his hands. Once your child knows all the "5+..." facts, you can move on to other numbers. For all of this work, I really do like to make use of the abacus in general, but the alabacus specifically does a great job at helping your child to understand base-5, as well as 10 as a base. Any base-10 abacas will be helpful. When asked to show the number 8, with consistent practice your child will learn that instead of counting 8 beads to slide over, they can just leave 2 beads. The alabacus adds to this feature by changing colors every 5 beads, so in addition to leaving 2 beads, the student can use 5 beads of one color plus 3 of another to show 8. The alabacus, as well as the RightStart Math Curriculum, can be purchased at There,you can also purchase an app version of the alabacus. In addition there is an online freebie called Number Rack. Number Rack can also be found as an ios app. I have no clue about google apps. Lastly, you may decide to make your own abacus. Google can be your friend in this juncture.

The Fun Part: Place Value

Do all you can to ensure that your child has a firm grasp of place value to 1000. Several manipulatives are helpful. Probably the most helpful would be base 10 blocks. I've never owned these because they can be expensive. Instead, I have used the base 10 picture cards. I own the commercial set that came with my RightStart Math package, but I've also printed my own on card stock. In all actuality, I have used the printed version more. My favorite version of this free printable can be found HERE. You can find a virtual manipulative source HERE. If you'd rathe shell out the money for the actual blocks, and not a picture representation, they are easy to find. I won't suggest a brand, but you can find them by searching the internet.

Place value cards are also good to have. Again, I have the commercial and homemade sets. You can find my homemade set HERE. Feel free to purchase any of these products. If money and storage aren't an issue, I would definitely purchase the base-10 blocks, but the b10 picture cards work as well. I won't suggest a brand,so google away. The choices are abundant.

Definitely look up some place value lesson plans, but the premise is to start with the ones blocks. At this point your child can teach you all about the numbers to 10. Next show your child that 10 of the ones blocks equals 1 of the 10s bars. Continue on in this fashion until you get to one thousand. At the same time, help your learner to recognize and write these numbers as they go. The place value cards, as well as My Place Value Number Board. should facilitate this really well. The idea is not only will your youngster know the way these numbers sound and look, but also what they mean. This will help the child to understand that in the same way as 2+4=6, 20+40=60, and 200+400=600.

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