Presentation of the Decimal System - Exercise 1




To help the child understand the relative value of a unit, ten, one hundred, and one thousand.  To help the child understand the decimal system. To teach the names hundred and thousand.


4 years onwards


The three period lesson is used.  The material is taken to the child's table.  The teacher sits by the child.  She keeps the material to one side.  The teacher places the single bead in front of the child and asks him how much it is.  He says, "1."  She removes it and places the ten bar in front of him.  She asks him to count the beads.  He does so and tells her there are ten.  She can point to each bead as he counts with her pencil tip if she feels it would help him not to miscount.  "Yes, this is ten."  She removes the ten bar and places the hundred square in front of him and tells him, "This is one hundred." She makes it sound a little impressive; after all, one hundred is a large quantity!  She counts the ten bars of which it is composed with him.  "One ten, two tens, three tens... ten tens.  Ten tens make one hundred."  She repeats the name several times.  The hundred is put to one side.  The teacher puts the thousand cube in front of the child.  "This is one thousand...a thousand...a thousand...a thousand."  She can show the child that it is made up of ten hundred squares by counting them with the child.  "Ten hundred make a thousand."
As in previous exercises, the teacher proceeds to the second period, placing all the quantities in front of the child, and asks him to point to the quantity she names.  In the third period the teacher places one quantity at a time in front of the child and asks him to tell her its name.


The material is placed in order in front of the child.  Thousand, hundred, ten, one.  He can see their relative value.  He can name them thousand, hundred, ten, and one.
The material is kept on a tray.  The child can help himself to it, count it, and look at it whenever he likes.  It is important that he do so.