Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Have you Heard of Digiblocks?

Have you heard of digiblocks?

I was talking with a friend about base 10 representations and found out there is an entire base 10 model which has apparently been around for over 10 years that I had never heard of.  I borrowed a few of these blocks from a friend and started exploring with them as well as looking more at the Digiblock website.  Here are some things I have discovered already that I could do with my students using digiblocks

Digiblock trains

The digiblock website and lesson ideas (and even a few fun videos) show them using the digiblocks as trains with very young children  (pre-K and K).  The blocks can be left open so that kids can actually count each individual block if they need to.

You can put several digiblock trains side by side and compare lengths as well as think about adding and subtracting trains.

Expanded Form/ Breaking numbers apart many ways

I have been working with my second graders on different ways to represent numbers.  We have been working on reading and writing numbers up to 1000 as well as writing numbers in expanded form and thinking about different forms of the number that are the same.  We have been using base 10 pieces for this but I kind of like the idea of using the digiblocks as well.
132 represented with digiblocks.  This was a great way to show second graders that 132 can be written as 100+30+2
When we opened up a ten block and moved it over we could see that 132 is also equal to 100+20+12

Opening another ten block let us see that we could also represent 132 as 100 + 10 + 22

Do you use digiblocks in your classroom?  Do you find they are more useful than base 10 pieces?  Respond in the comments below.  If you have a post about digiblocks that you want to link to, feel free to do that in the comments as well!


  1. I've never heard of digi blocks either and I've been teaching for 24 years!
    I like the way they open up.
    I think I'll look for some.

    1. Let me know if you decide to use them and how it works for you!

  2. Replies
    1. They have been around for about 10 years and a lot of people have never heard of them.

    2. I used to work for the company in Harvard Square as a tutor! I love them! As soon as I had my own classroom I invested in my own set! I have kinders that are adding two digit numbers in their heads by visualizing people on "trains".