I introduced the Dienes blocks to the 3rd graders to get a sense of ones, tenths and hundreds. Each cube is one, a rod is a ten and plate is a hundred. I asked them the following questions
- How many cubes can make a rod?
- How many rods can make a plate?
- How many plates make a cube?
Then we noticed that the pattern repeats itself : cubes – rods – plates – cubes – rods – plates ….. and that everytime it increases by 10 orders of magnitude.
The children had fun trying to keep the blocks in their hands. Some children were not able to hold it but they all tried.