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Using the Place Mat to Tell How Many

Using the Place Mat to Tell How Many

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Published by Digi-Block
Comprehensive Teacher's Guide Grades 1-2 Lesson 2-8
Comprehensive Teacher's Guide Grades 1-2 Lesson 2-8

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Digi-Block on Jul 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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hile the Counter provides a clearvisual view of a number in its base tenrepresentation,it does not allow us to seemore than 9 blocks in the same place.Yetsuch a situation often occurs in the interme-diate steps of a computation,for example,in addition or subtraction with regrouping.The Digi-Block Place mat does allowchildren to organize blocks in placesand to have more than 9 in each place.To emphasize that this is a temporaryarrangement,children write the numberof blocks in each place at the top of themat.(The numbers are written in front of the words
.)To show the base ten representation of this amount,children must set aDigit Flip Card at the bottom of each place.These cards are used just likethe dials on the Counter.Because each set of cards contains only the digits0–9,children see that they must pack the blocks so that there are not morethan 9 of a kind in any place.The Place mat is somewhat more abstractthan the Counter (there are no holders to show which type block goeswhere,and there is no eject mechanism).Thus it serves as an intermediatestep between the Counter and the abstraction of numbers on paper.Note that if you prefer to limit this investigation to two-digit numbers,youcan simply fold under the hundreds column on the Place mat.
Organizing Blocks on the Place Mat
Have children place a group of blocks that includes blocks-of-100, blocks-of-10, and singles, but no more than 9 of any kind, on the mat. The sole purposeof this activity is for children to put each kind of block in the correct place.Then have children set the Digit Flip Cards to represent the number. Askchildren to tell the number in Digi-language (for example, “3 blocks-of-100,5 blocks-of-10, and 4 ones”). Then ask,
What number does this show?
Using the Place Mat to Tell How Many
Children can use a Place mat to organize amounts that are notyet completely packed (such as 3 hundreds,4 tens,and 12 ones).
Using the Place mat and Digit Flip Cards tofind a number’s base ten representation
Repeat this sequence many times. Be sure to include sets of blocks that haveonly hundreds and ones (no tens), or only hundreds and tens (no ones). Tohelp children see that the three digits on the flip cards represent a singlenumber, suggest that they push the cards together and tell the number name.Next distribute the Mat Activity Paper (Activity Sheet 5). Have the childrenplace 6 blocks-of-10 and 15 ones on a Place mat, and then use stamps or draw pictures on the mat activity paper to show the arrangement they have. Havethe children use the Digit Flip Cards to set the digits.Many children may be perplexed initially; after all, there is no single card thatshows 15. Some children may flip the cards over and over looking for thenumber 15. Others may try to put two cards under the ones place. (Emphasizethat only one card may be used in each place.) Do not hurry the children asthey struggle with this problem. Realizing that they must pack in order to setthe digits is an important point that they should discover for themselves.If children have trouble thinking about whatthey should do, ask them to imagine what would happen if they put the blocks on theCounter. If possible, let the children actually do that. When they have packed the blocks and setthe digits, have the children show how thearrangement changes on their activity matpaper. They can also fill in the Digit FlipCards pictured on this sheet. Have themdiscuss their work and share their represen-tations.Continue with further work on the Placemats, asking children to place various groupsof blocks that require packing in order to set the digits. Eventually, havechildren place 2 blocks-of-100, 14 blocks-of-10, and 27 ones on their mats.This example has the children packing twice to set the digits.
Predicting the Base Ten Representation
 When the children are comfortable with showing numbers on the Placemat, have them predict how groups of blocks will pack before they actually do it. The ability to make such predictions will serve children well in their computation work.
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This child’s work on Mat Activity Paper shows how he set thedigits for 6 blocks-of-10 and 15 ones.
For example, have children put 4 blocks-of-100, 12 blocks-of-10, and 4singles on their mats. Say,
Think about how these blocks will look when they are packed as much as possible. Setyour Digit Flip Cards to predict what will be on the Place mat.
Once they have set the cards, children can turn them face down to eliminateany distraction while packing. Then the children pack the blocks to checktheir thinking. Provide many examples over time, and have the childrenexplain how they can predict what the cards should be.
Exploring Equivalent Representations
 With the Place mat, children can find many different ways to representthe same number. Assign each group of children one of the following setsof blocks:14 blocks-of-10, 14 singles12 blocks-of-10, 34 singles1 block-of-100, 1 block-of-10, 44 singles10 blocks-of-10, 54 singlesHave children place the blocks on their mats and record what they have.Then ask the children to set the digits with the flip cards (they will discover that they need to pack first) and record the number. Each group will find that they have the same amount (154 blocks), although it was originally represented in four different ways.
Practicing Key Ideas
Mat Predictions
Children work in pairs.One child places some blocks on the Place mat,being sure toplace more than 9 blocks of at least one size.The other child sets the Digit Flip Cardsto show how the blocks will look when packed.Children then turn the flip cards facedown and pack the blocks.When the blocks are packed,the children turn the cardsface up to check the prediction.Pairs can repeat the activity,reversing roles.
Go to Stop
Have each group of children begin with the same number of blocks (for example,2blocks-of-100,5 blocks-of-10,and 3 single blocks).When you say “Go,”children beginto unpack their collections.The unpacking continues until you say “Stop.”At thatpoint children count the number of blocks of each size that they have.Groups thenrecord their findings on the board or on chart paper for all to see.Have childrendiscuss the different representations of the same number.
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