y loading blocks onto the Counter and setting the dials appropriately,children can group a quantity of single blocks in a way that matchesthe number’s base ten representation.Through this process,children candetermine the numeral that represents any given quantity.
Counting Blocks on the Counter
Set out a group of 10 single blocks on a white mat or other identified workarea. Have the children count in unison as you move each block in turn toone side. Say,
Now let’s see how we could use the Counter to count these blocks.
As the class counts aloud, have 10children in turn take one block, load iton the Counter, and set the dial accord-ingly. When the tenth block is placed,the holder will slide down. The child who is at the Counter when this hap-pens may take the last block out, resetthe holder, and try again to place thefinal block. This may be repeated severaltimes before the child realizes that theholder slides down every time. Ask,
Why do you think this is happening?
Most children recognize that the holder is full, needs a cover, and should beloaded into the next place. Others canbe prompted with the question,
What do you think we should do with this block-of-10?
Once the block-of-10 is properly placed and a new holder to collect ones isput on the rack, have children set the dials. Many children look for a 10 onthe dial beneath the ones place and are quite surprised when they don’t findit. Let them keep looking and then ask them to set the dials to show whatthey actually see. It may take a while for some children to realize that eachdial corresponds only to the blocks in the holder directly above it.
How many single blocks are on the Counter now?
Using the Counter to Tell How Many
Placing single blocks on the Counter to form anumber’s base ten representation