All students must have a solid understanding of the base-ten number system by the time they leave elementary school. So, what does it mean to develop a base-ten understanding? As educators, we must provide students opportunities to explore the relationships of the powers of ten and this is a key component for how students become fluent with operations.
Even in kindergarten we provide opportunities for students to:
-see numbers as tens and ones
-use the structure of our number system to count with understanding
-use the structure to develop operations
So how can we help students to gain a deeper understanding of the base-ten system? You can begin by posing this problem:
As students solve, observe how students are thinking and select varying levels of student work to share. Here is an example of some student work:
Gather students together and discuss the similarities and differences between each strategy. This is the fun part! Allow students make conjectures about the math. Ask, "What do notice? How do these strategies build on each other? Do you see any patterns in our solutions?"
After you solved this problem with your students, share a comment below and let us know how it went! Post picture on twitter using #lisdelemmath. We can't wait to learn with you!