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Roll & Build

Alignments to Content Standards: 1.NBT.B.2



For each pair:

  • 2 ten-sided dice with the numbers 0 to 9 or two spinners with the numbers 0 to 9

  • Base-10 blocks, linking cubes, or bundled and loose popsicle sticks

  • Paper and pencil


  • Student A rolls the dice.

  • Student B makes a number using the values on the dice as digits and both students write it on the paper. For example, if student A rolled a 3 and a 4, the number can be 34 or 43.

  • Student A represents the number with the tens and ones blocks/popsicle sticks.

  • Student B counts the blocks to check that they correctly represent the number.

  • Both students draw a picture of the tens and ones on the paper.

The students should take turns.

IM Commentary

The purpose of this task is to give students practice representing two digit numbers with concrete objects to reinforce the meaning of the tens digit and the ones digit. This task works best in partners, however it can played individually. The teacher should show the students how to play using an overhead projector or the white board before the students start.

Students who are just learning about place value should build their own tens with linking cubes or by bundling popsicle sticks in groups of 10 with a rubber band. Students can draw lines for the tens and dots for the ones to make it easier to draw the blocks. They can draw ten quick lines with a circle around it for a bundle of 10 popsicle sticks and lines for singles.


If the student rolls a 3 and a 4, they could write 43 and select 4 tens and 3 ones: