Lesson: Place Value: Lesson 1

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Lesson Objective

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the very basics of a base-10 number system.

Lesson Plan


 Edward Brooke Logo

Unit Two: Place Value, Lesson 1

Lesson: 2.1

Teaching Point: Mathematicians know that a cube represents one and a long represents 10. 


  • 2.1 Math Workout
  • 2.1 Problem Solving Task
  • Bags (one for each student) full of longs and ones cubes
  • Slates and Markers
  • Individual place value charts
  • Magnetic base-10 blocks for work on the easel
  • Large place value chart for the easel

Fact Power (10 minutes)

Counting (5 minutes)

Problem Solving Task (5 minutes)

  • Read directions and task to the students. Have the students read the directions/task aloud twice.
  • Send students off to work independently.
  • Provide students with problem solving kits. Make sure that you have included a bag of base-10 blocks (ones cubes and longs)

Teaching (20 minutes)

  • Have students turn and talk with their partners about the problem solving task
  • Have a full class discussion about the problem solving task.
  • Important points to include in the discussion:

ü Jordan built the number correctly.  He used longs to represent the 2 tens in number 20 and the ones cubes to represent the 7 ones in 27.

ü We are going to be using these tools to represent numbers in this unit, so we need to know what they represent.

ü Each ones cube represents one. 

ü Each long represents ten.

Use magnetic base ten blocks for the demonstration.

ü Place 5 cubes on the board. Each of these cubes represents 1.  How would I count these cubes?  That’s right by 1’s. Each of these cubes represents 1. Repeat with different amounts 2-3 times.

ü Place 3 longs on the board.  Each of these longs represents 10.  How would I count these longs?  That’s right, by 10. Each of these longs represents 10.  Repeat with different amounts 2-3 times.

ü 7 has 7 ones in it.  Which block would I use to represent 7?

ü 20 has 2 tens in it.  Which block would I use to represent the tens in 20?

Scholars bring their own base ten blocks and work mats to the rug.

ü Ask them to take out the block that represents one.  Let’s use these cubes to represent one-digit numbers.  Practice with 3, 5, and 8.

ü Now take out the block that represents 10. 

ü Explain that there are ten cubes that are melded together to make a long.  Let’s count the spaces on the long to prove it!

ü Let’s make a line of ten ones cubes and line it up with the ten to prove it!

ü Let’s try building numbers with just longs!  30 has 3 tens in it because 3 is in the tens place.  Build 30 on your workmat.  Repeat with additional numbers.

Independent Practice (10 minutes)

Go over instructions/questions for independent practice sheet and send them to complete the work independently.


Math Workout (10 minutes)

  • See 2.1 Math Workout
  • Students complete independently or with the teacher
  • Go over any questions on the WO that a majority of the students have trouble with.


  • Build a number incorrectly on the board.  Ask a scholar to fix it.
  • Remind them or have them tell you that…
  • “The long represents a value of 10.  The cube represents a value of one.”


Lesson Resources

2.1 Problem solving task.docx  
2.1 Independent Practice.docx  
2.1 Problem solving task.docx  
2.1 Workout.docx  


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