# Reading the Code to Any Place

Focus Identifying the total number of tens and hundreds in a four-digit number

1-7

T

he base ten code is very powerful. The numeral 1873 tells us that there are 1873 ones, and also that there are 1 thousand, 8 hundreds, 7 tens, and 3 ones. It tells us as well that there are 187 tens and 3 ones, or 18 hundreds and 73 ones. In this sense, we can read the number to any particular place. If we stop at the tens place, we know the number of tens. If we stop at the hundreds place, we know the number of hundreds. Knowing that we can read the number to any point is part of understanding the base ten code. Such knowledge can be extremely helpful when we are estimating, rounding, computing, working with decimals, and using the metric system of measurement. A somewhat simpler idea is that we can write the code to a particular place.That is, to write a number such as 24 tens, we add a zero so that the digits 2 and 4 end in the tens place. Since this idea is more familiar to students, we begin here.

® Writing the Code to Any Place
Students have previously predicted the base ten representation for a group of single blocks. They should also be able to predict the base ten representation, or code, for a group of blocks-of-10 or blocks-of-100. Ask,

If we have 32 single blocks on the Place mat, what number does that show? What if we have 32 blocks-of-10? 32 blocks-of-100? How are each of these numbers alike? How are they different?
Have students place the blocks on the Place mat, packing as needed, and set the digits. Provide several similar examples until students can predict the answer without packing the blocks. Then ask,

How do you write the number for 27 tens? 47 hundreds?
Encourage students to articulate their thinking. The basic idea is that blocksof-10 or blocks-of-100 can be viewed as single entities. To communicate that there are 32 tens, we write the digits 3 and 2 so that they end in the tens place (320). Similarly, to indicate 32 hundreds, we write the digits 3 and 2 so that they end in the hundreds place (3200).

39

1-7
® Predicting How Many Tens and Hundreds

How many tens are there in 12,760? How many hundreds are there in 113,300?

40

1-7
Practicing Key Ideas
Estimate and Check
Provide a large collection of blocks-of-10. Students estimate three things: the number of blocks-of-10 in the collection, the number of blocks-of-100 they could pack, and the number of singles they could unpack. They record their estimates, count the blocks-of-10, and decide if their estimates were close.

Number Puzzles
Students solve number puzzles with clues such as these:

I am a three-digit number. I have 27 tens. I have 5 ones. What number am I? When unpacked to blocks-of-100, there are 13 of them. When unpacked to blocks-of-10, there are 138 of them. There are 6 single blocks. What number do I show?
Students then write their own clues to make puzzles that they trade with one another or place in a classroom “Number Puzzle” book.

Assessing Learning
1. Have the student show 297 on the Place mat. Ask,

If you unpack to blocks-of-10, how many will there be?
Does the student • identify the number correctly? • unpack or predict the answer? 2. Show the students the numeral 1540. Ask,

How many tens are there in this number? How many hundreds are there in this number?
Does the student • correctly tell the number of tens? • correctly tell the number of hundreds?

41

I-7
3. Show a collection of 15 blocks-of-10. Ask,

What number do these blocks show?