Friday, May 1, 2015

Playing with Base Ten Blocks!

A few weeks ago I found an amazing activity on Step Into Second Grade with Mrs. Lemon's blog!  She used place value blocks to create her name and then found the value of each name. You can see her blog post here.  I knew right away that we needed to try this activity! I had kids ages 5-8 playing with the base ten blocks together, so I needed to be able to differentiate for their learning needs and abilities. We ended up working with letters, names, and sight words and it was a hit!!
We broke out actual base ten blocks, but you could have kids cut out paper blocks to create their names and glue to paper.  The kids had tons of fun using the blocks to create their names.
After creating their name, they wrote out the value of their name on a post it note.
The values were broken down by hundreds, tens, and ones.
After watching how each individual child used the base ten blocks to create the specific numbers, I thought it might be interesting to have two different kids to create the same name. It turned out really cool! We ended up with different values for the same name.
The next idea was inspired by an awesome kid! She wondered out loud if there was a difference between her real name and nickname. This led to more exploring!

We couldn't stop at names. My daughter (she just turned 5) wanted in on the fun. She knows all her letters and is starting to learn sight words, so we brought in learning that was appropriate for her, too!
She created her upper and lowercase letters. Then, she counted all the blocks that she used. I had her use the 'ones' blocks. After counting, she either dictated the number of blocks or wrote it herself.
Then, we brought out the "Greater Gator" and compared the amounts!
You can create your own "Greater Gator" or use popsicle sticks or just a symbol on a post-it.
Then, we moved on to sight words. All the kids created sight words and differentiated in the way they  recorded the value of the word.
 We loved all the fun that we had with base ten blocks! It kept kids ages 5-8 engaged and learning on their own level. I thought it was a huge success!  Thanks so much to Step Into Second Grade with Mrs. Lemons for the fantastic idea :)
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