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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. 


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




(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