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Base ten block facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Dienes blocks used by a 8 year-old student
A student using base 10 blocks

Base ten blocks are a tool to help students learn concepts in mathematics such as arithmetic and place value.

They are also known as multibase arithmetic blocks (MABs) or Dienes blocks after the Hungarian mathematician Zoltán Pál Dienes, who told others about using them.


These blocks come in four different sizes and represent different values.

  • Units represent ones
  • Rods represent tens
  • Flats represent hundreds
  • Cubes represent thousands

Different sizes are used to make up a number. For example, 593 is made up of 5 flats (500), 9 rods (90), and 3 units (3). Addition and subtraction can be learned by adding or taking away blocks.

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Base ten block Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.