• Michael Giedzinska

The Bases of Math

Teaching children about the bases of math can be a confusing concept, especially if you are unfamiliar with how to explain the topic. Learning bases is an easier way to express place value with whole numbers and helps children learn to count. The system we typically use is a base ten system; however, a base system can be expressed with any numbers including 2, 5, or 12. This is a skill that can be practiced at home to reinforce their learning in school.

When practicing the concept of base ten at home you start off in the one’s column and then you would advance to the 10’s column, 100’s column, 1000’s column and so on. Mathematically speaking, 1×10 = 10, 10×10=100, 10×100=1,000. Children typically use base 10 blocked in school to visually show their understanding of the number.

For example, a teacher will ask the student to show them “24” in base 10 blocks. They would then take two 10’s blocks, and four single blocks to represent the number. This is an important foundational skill. If they were asking to show the number 132, they would then take a 100 bock, 3 tens blocks, and 2 single blocks. Advanced skills would be using the blocks to represent addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication problems.

While you may not base ten block at home, there are many ways that you can teach this at home by using crafting supplies you have at home or even though technology. You can then use these to help your child practice. Practice can include providing the child with the base ten blocks in different numbers and asking them what the number is, or providing them with the number and then asking them to represent it using the base 10 blocks. You can advance to harder problems using the blocks as a manipulative. You can make the blocks easily using household sponges. Or you can print these worksheets to make paper base ten blocks. ABCya and Learning Box have online games for practice.

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