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?

I feel like I recall watching a video where you shared that most students should not start using base 10 blocks in place of linking cubes until about the end of 2nd grade. Can you confirm this & share any research backing this up? Thank you!

Couldn’t the lines and dots be placed in a way that uses the skills of subtizing? This would facilitate quick calculation. For example, the points could be placed like the points on a die and the lines could be grouped by 4 so as not to have to count the lines or 4 lines and 1 placed diagonally on the 4 lines so as to quickly see that there are 5 of them.

I just found these – thanks! I have made notes to look into using these to create a visual “I have -who has” game, race to 100 type of game, or using 2 cards to determine “how many more”… My middle school students have enjoyed quite a number of games with the fraction cards so I’m looking forward to using these with my youngers! Thanks!