Download the Resource


A few years ago, I was in need of a resource that would help students build fluency beyond 20 so I created some Base Ten Cards. I’ve referred to the cards in presentations but I haven’t shared them in this space…until now.

Below you’ll find a downloadable set of the cards as well as some videos of us playing around in a first-grade classroom. I’ll go ahead and admit that there is a speed element in the videos that makes me a little queasy but with that being said, the student was comfortable so I felt like we were working at the speed of learning.

Some food for thought before diving in and test driving…

  • I have to keep reminding myself that students need lots of opportunities to count and produce sets which isn’t always the case.
  • The act of composing AND decomposing groups of ten is a huge understanding which remains underexplored in many of our primary classrooms.
  • The key is to not move students too quickly to base ten blocks because it can really undermine the development of unitizing.
  • Even though we call these “Base Ten Cards”, first-grade students see them as “Snap Cube Cards”.

Video 1: Shows the cards in action

Video 2: Adding a multiple of ten to a two digit number

Video 3: Adding 9 to a 2-digit number

Your turn.

Download the BASE TEN CARDS HERE, give them a try, and report back.

  • How did it go?
  • Any other ways we could use them?
  • What am I missing?
  • How can we make them better?