Number and Operations in Base Ten

Common Core in Kindergarten

In Kindergarten, this common core benchmark refers to working with numbers from 11 to 19 to gain foundations for place value. The Number and Operations in Base Ten benchmark for kindergarten refers to working with numbers from 11 - 19 and it is also the beginnings of place value. At this early age, place value refers to the ability to understand that a 1 isn't just a 1 and in a number like 12, the one represents 10 ones and is considered 1 ten, or a number like 11, the one to the left represents 10 (or 10 ones) and the 1 to the right represents 1. 

Although this may sound like a simple concept, it is very difficult for young learners. As adults, we've forgotten how we learned base 10, likely because we were taught it so long ago. There are four kindergarten math lesson ideas listed below to help teach this concept.


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Teaching Strategy 1

Beginning Place Value. D. Russell

What you Need:
Popsicle sticks, paper plates with different numbers on them from 10 to 19 and twist ties or elastics.

What to Do:
Have children represent the numbers on the paper plates by putting groups of 10 popsicle sticks together with a twist tie or an elastic band and then count on for the rest of the number of sticks needed. Ask them which number they represented and have them count it to you. They need to count the 1 group as 10 and then touching each popsicle stick count upward (11, 12, 13 beginning at 10, not one) for the rest of the number.

This activity needs to be repeated frequently to build fluency.


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Teaching Strategy 2

Early Place Value. D. Russell

What you Need:
Markers and several pieces of paper with different numbers on them between 10 and 19.

What to Do
Ask students to make dots on the paper to represent the number. Ask them then to circle 10 of the dots. Review the completed tasks by having students say, 19 is a group of 10 and 9 more. They should be able to point to the group of ten and count on from 10 with each of the other dots (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 , therefore 15 is a group of ten and 5 ones.
Again, this activity needs to be repeated over several weeks to ensure fluency and understanding occurs.

(This activity can also be done with stickers.)


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Teaching Strategy 3

Base Ten Place Mat. D. Russell

What you Need:
A paper place mat with two columns. At the top of the column should be a 10 (left side) and a 1 (right side). Markers or crayons will also be needed.

What to Do
State a number between 10 and 19 and ask the students to put how many tens are needed in the tens column and how many ones are needed in the ones column. Repeat the process with various numbers.

This activity needs to be repeated over a period of weeks to build fluency and understanding.

Print the Placemat in PDF


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Teaching Strategy 4

10 Frames. D. Russell

What you Need:
10 frame strips and crayons

What to Do:

Identify a number between 11 and 19, ask the students then color the 10 strip one color and the number needed in the next strip to represent the number.

10 Frames are extremely valuable to use with young learners, they see how numbers are composed and decomposed and provide great visuals for understanding 10 and counting on from 10.

Print the 10 Frame in PDF