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Tens Rods (as I call them) and Ones Cubes can be a hot commodity.  I know how we beg and borrow for more of these tools.  One way to help the situation is to make them yourself. I know…who has the time for something like this…but let me tell you, this is one of the easiest DIY projects I will ever post.  I would still have your district buy the ‘real’ ones but these are good for extra groups and just to have some extra on hand. 

Supplies:



  thin, plain sponges (I got mine from the dollar store (3 in a package for $1.00)

  scissors

  pen

  ruler

(whew, that was a lot 🙂

1) Tens Rods and Ones Cubes measure about 1 cm in width; so I just take a ruler and mark small nicks 1 cm apart on the sponge

2) Then cut and that’s it.

It doesn’t come out perfect, but the kids still understand that 10 ones cubes equal 1 ten rod.  It gives them a 3D tool that is cheap, cheap, cheap!

Have fun!  If you would like more DIY Projects, check out my pinterest board: DIY Teacher