Base 10 Blocks (B10B) are helpful in modeling place value because a Ten rod is self-evidently equal to 10 Ones. This is an improvement over bundling straws, say, where you only know a bundle of 10 by counting them. A Ten rod, on the other hand, is another, greater unit.

There are two common ways of visually organizing counting past 10 with B10B: a number line and a grid. Both have advantages and limitations. I like number lines because they depict relative size, or magnitude, and this is what number sense is all about at this age. Grids, however, show number patterns horizontally, vertically, and diagonally very clearly.

Here are 10-cm grids, both numbered and blank. The vertical measurement is actually a little more than 1 cm per row, because when students place Tens horizontally they always seem to overfill rows that are exactly 1 cm tall.

Download Numbered 10 by 10 Grid

For insertion of the PNG files into a document, set the height of the numbered grid to 4.00 inches. Lock the aspect ratio first.

Here is a 40-cm number line, which requires 17 by 11” paper. For anything shorter than that you can simply use a centimeter ruler. Set the length of the 40 cm number line to 16.92 inches. Lock the aspect ratio first.

For more on centimeter number lines, and for a 56-cm number line, see the Centimeter Number Line page.

And here’s a Word file with a grid of each type on each side.

10by10GridsBlankAndNumbered.docx

For all these files, be sure to print a test page and measure the images. Different printers and software can alter the size of images slightly.

Having both grids and number lines is useful so students can transfer Base 10 Blocks from one to the other and see the same numbers in different modes. It’s helpful with place value, addition, and subtraction.

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