What it is: Today while I was doing a quick Google search for a place I could buy a set of base 10 blocks, I came across this AWESOME digital version by accident. What a happy accident! Learning Box has a virtual version of base 10 blocks that builds in a fun practice game. Students are given a target number and drag base 10 blocks onto the paper to represent that number. As students add blocks, a counter at the bottom of the page shows how many blocks are currently on the paper. This is a great way for students to digitally practice place value, counting by hundreds, tens and ones.
The outcome of my shopping trip for base 10 blocks: the digital version is MUCH cheaper (read:free) than the physical version (not free). While I understand the value of the physical blocks, the digital version is a fantastic alternative for classrooms without the budget for each student to have a set or for students to continue practice at home.
How to integrate Learning Box Base 10 into the classroom: The Learning Box Base 10 blocks are a great example of a virtual manipulative. They help students visually represent numbers and place value. I like the way the slider and cups on the bottom of the page help track student progress as they drag blocks to the paper. When students get the target number, they don’t start with a blank slate, instead a new target number is given and students have to figure out which blocks to add or subtract. You can adjust the level of difficulty and place values practiced by clicking on the 1, 10, and 100 circle to the left of the paper.
Learning Box Base 10 would make a great center activity in the one or two computer classroom. Students can use the digital manipulatives with the built in game or to help them represent real-world problems.
Start a whole-class game with the Learning Box Base 10 blocks using a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard. Students can take turns at the board solving the problem and “phone a friend” if they need some additional support.
Tips: This Learning Box activity is flash based…I’m hoping that someone comes out with an app of manipulatives for the iPad (hint, hint).
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Learning Box Base 10 Blocks in your classroom!