Becky and Bart Count Their Blocks-Base Ten Blocks and Numbers 11-20

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Students will be able to identify numbers represented by base ten blocks.

Big Idea

Students have been learning how to work with base ten blocks. Now they will identify the numbers the blocks represent.


10 minutes

For the lesson, you will need a copy of Becky and Bart Count Their Blocks.  I print the book with a color printer and laminate the pages for durability.  I then bind it with a comb binding machine, but book rings or stapling would also work well. 

I gather the students around my big chair to read the story.  I show the students the cover of the book.  Boys and Girls, do you remember the children that are on the front cover of this book?  You do, great!  Do you remember their names.  That’s right...Becky and Bart.  Today, Becky and Bart have a new adventure for us to read about.  Do you remember what happened the last time Becky and Bart were organizing their blocks?  That’s right.  They ended up with a big pile of blocks.   I sure hope nothing like that happens today!  Let’s read and find out!

I begin reading the story to the students:

Page 1This is Becky and Bart.  They like to build with blocks.  They organized their blocks by color.  I also read what is in the speech bubble:  Let’s find out how many blocks we have?

Page 2Let’s count the red blocks.  How many are there?  I invite a student to come up and count the blocks.  If the student applies what we learned in the previous lesson about counting the stack of blocks as ten, I tell them to count each individual block.  We will visit that concept in tomorrow’s lesson.  The student then writes the number of blocks in the space provided on the page.  We check his work by counting each block as a group.

Page 3Can you help me with the blue blocks.  Another student is invited up to help count the blocks with the class checking. 

Page 4:   Now it’s time to count the green blocks.  Again, a student comes up and counts the blocks.

Page 5Wow!!! Our stacks of blocks look so nice.  Let’s put them on the shelf.  (One of my students says…”I have a bad feeling about this!”)

Page 6:  WATCH OUT!!  (The students giggle)

Page 7 Not again!  I think we should just throw them in the toy box in the future.   

Poor Becky and Bart!  I can’t believe it happened again!  You did a great job counting those numbers.  Let’s move over to the SMARTBoard and do some more work with counting!!!

Direct Instruction

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMARTBoard.  If you have a SMARTBoard, the file can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  There is also a PDF of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson.

I gather my students in front of the SMARTBoard.  I have cards with each student's name on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the SMARTBoard.

I open the first slide (Smartboard Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques.  I read these objectives aloud for my students.

Content Objective
I can count to tell what number base ten blocks are showing. 

Language Objective
I can tell a friend what number a group of base 10 shows.


We then continue with the rest of the slides.

Slide 2:  You did a great job working with base ten blocks during our last lesson.  Speech Bubble:  Nice Work!

Slide 3:  Now that we have our blocks organized, I think they will be easier to count.  Speech Bubble:  Count with me.  I point at the blocks, starting at the bottom and working toward the top as the students count each block with me. 

Slide 4:  Can you count how many blocks are here?  I invite a student to come up to the board and count the blocks.  The student records the answer in the box.  The entire class then counts as I point to the blocks to check the answer. 

Slides 5 and 6:   We continue as in Slide 4.

Slide 7: It is now turn and talk time.  Turn and Talk allows my English Learners to practice their academic language with a peer. The students hold hands with their assigned Turn and Talk partner and lift their hands in the air so I can check that everyone has a partner.   I ask them the question, How many blocks are there?  I give the students time to talk.  When it is obvious that they have an answer, I ask someone to share their group's answer with the entire class.  I then say the answer for the entire class, using a complete sentence, There are 12 blocks.  I have the class repeat the sentence.  We then move back to our seats for guided practice.  

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need snap cubes.  I put together one orange rod of 10 cube for each student and one yellow rod of cubes.  You can use whatever colors you have available.  Having two colors provides support for students who are not at grade level by helping them know went to start a new tower of blocks.  You will also need a ten sided die.  If you do not have one, you can use the 0-10 Hanging Number Tags included with this lesson.

I pass the cubes out to the students and I have them unsnap the cubes and place them in piles by color at their spots.  I tell the students, we are going to practice counting cubes.  I will roll the die.  We will put that number of orange cubes together.  We will continue rolling until we have one tower or rod of ten and have started the second tower or rod.  We will then count to see how many we have.

I go to the first student and roll the die.  I ask the student to announce to the class what is rolled.  They say seven.  The students then begin to snap together the orange cubes.  I wait until they are done (Great fine motor work as well as math here!).  I then go to the next student and roll the die.  They announce to the class, eight.  The students snap eight cubes on to their rod or tower, switching to yellow after they have snapped the ten orange cubes together.  I ask the students, did you start a new rod or tower?  They say, “yes”.  Okay, now it’s time to count the cubes.  Count them and raise your hand when you know the answer.  I give the students time to count.  When they are done, I call on a student to share the answer with the class.  I then ask the class if they agree with the answer.  I have the students break apart the blocks and we do another example.

We continue doing a few more examples until I am confident that the students understand the concept.  When they are done with the last one, I have them reassemble the rods and I collect them in preparation for independent practice.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you need the Base Ten Roll A Die and Record Activity Sheet, one copy for each student.  You will also need a ten-side die for each student. 

I pass out the sheets to the students and have them put their names on top.  I tell the students, we are going to practice working with our base ten blocks.  We will do the exact same thing we just did, but instead of using real blocks, we will be coloring in blocks on our activity sheet.  We will do a couple together to practice and then you will complete the rest on your own.

I roll the die the way I did during guided practice and have a student announce the number to the class.  The student says 6.  The students are instructed to color in 6 blocks on the first rod.  When they are done, I roll again and another student tells the class the number rolled.  This time it is a 9.  The students color in 9 blocks. After they are done coloring, I ask them if they are in the second rod.  They say, “yes”.  I then tell them to count how many blocks are colored in and write their answer in the space provided.  I circulate around the room to monitor the students work.  When they are done, I call on a student to share the answer with the class.  I ask the class if they agree.  We then do another one together.

Once I am confident the students understand the concept, they then work on their own.  See video.  After they complete their work, they bring it to me to check and then place it in their mailbox.