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Could the Thousands Blocks in Your Classroom Be Causing a Misconception?

Students who struggle with number sense aren’t sure how many 10’s are in 100, how many 100’s are in 1000 and so on.  Because of this I work on this skill often with students in my intervention groups.  On more than one occasion, I have found that students even as old as fifth grade have a misconception about the thousands block.  Now that we have math tools made from plastic instead of the vintage wood ones, some students are confused when they lift the thousands block.  They realize the plastic thousands block is hollow, so when I ask them how many hundreds are in a thousand, they count the sides and say six.  I have to correct them and have them just stack the hundreds blocks until they are the same size.  Then they realize that 10 hundreds make 1000.

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