Tens Are Everywhere!

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SWBAT show that ten is a bundle of 10 ones.

Big Idea

This is stage one for my class to begin developing ideas about place value. This lesson will help students see that groups of ones can be changed into sets of tens.

Hook & Opening

10 minutes


During this part of the lesson, I want students to review what they have already learned so they can connect it to what we are learning now! I also want to get some wiggles out. Click here to see a song from Have Fun Teaching!

Connect: I want students to know why any of this matters in the real world!

10 is a super important number. 10 is my best friend! I have 10 fingers and I have 10 toes. A long time ago, when people counted, they had to use their fingers. They started making groups of 10. Today we are going to do the same thing with our classroom supplies. 


Your thinking job today is: How can I bundle into groups of 10? What does that show me about the number?

Present Problem:

I have a problem! I have so many classroom supplies, but I have no how idea how many of each material we have. How many markers? How many crayons? Today you will help me figure this out and record what you notice!

Taking Inventory

30 minutes

"Today, you will work with a partner and choose a collection to inventory.  Let's say you take this bin of markers.  You will have to figure out how many groups of ten there are and how many extras there are.  Does anyone know what we call the extras (ones)?  

Who could come up and show us how to count the markers?"

 I then take a volunteer from the class.  I will choose someone who I know can successfully model this.

Once the student finishes, I will show them the recording sheet that will be used for this activity (see section resource).

"Now that we have counted the markers, we will need to write down what we found out.  In the first column, you will write down the name of the collection that you counted.  In the second column, you will write down the number of groups of 10.  In the third column, you will write the number of ones and in the fourth you will write the total number."

"Let's fill out the sheet for the bin of markers."  

I then ask students to tell me what would go in each section.

"You will now go and work with your partner.  Once you finish one collection, you should put it back and move on to another one.  Your goal is to get through 5 collections today.  As you are working, I will come around to see how you are doing."

The CCSS expect that student develop and eventually understand that two digit numbers are composed of groups of tens and ones.  With this expectation comes the expectation that students understand that ten can be thought of as a bundle of 10 ones called a 10.

You can watch a video of how this will look by clicking here!

(When creating objects for inventory, be sure to include objects with an even number of tens, along with some objects that will have ones left over.)


10 minutes

During the closing section students are going to share out how they recorded the objects they counted.  As I circulated through out the room during the activity portion, I was looking for those students who were able to bundle the ten but recorded it as 1 ten.  I will strategically look for a few to share out. I like to ask the students if they  would like to share out to the group.

Students will bring their work back to the carpet area and we will share out our recordings. 

I will ask:

"How did you know that was one ten and not 12 tens?"  I'll want to ask that for those students who had the bundle correct but counted the bundle as individual ones.  

Is it okay to just have 2 by themselves?  Why/why not?   Students need to justify their thinking.

After a few students have shared out.  I will ask

Is anyone thinking about changing their recordings? How would you change it and why?   This question is for those students who are almost there, they have the bundles of ten correct  but counted the bundle as individual ones.  I am looking for those students to have that "aha" moment.

When students communicate with each other and share out how they record/think about a number, they are making connections and building upon each others' knowledge.  That is powerful learning moment.  Students are using repeated reasoning (MP 8), as they are sharing and listening to each other.