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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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Instructor:
*Mark Boster*

Base ten is used in our counting system and our monetary system. It is a helpful way to keep track of our money, as we can exchange pennies for dimes and dimes for dollars.

Shawn went to the store with his mother. On the way out, he saw a gumball machine. He was excited to see that it only cost ten cents for a gumball, which is exactly how much money he had! However, the machine only took dimes, and Shawn had ten pennies. He asked his mother to trade him his ten pennies for one of her dimes and she agreed.

Cheryl needed a dollar bill to take to school for a field trip. She had ten dimes but was nervous to keep track of all that change all the way to school. She traded her father the ten dimes for one dollar bill.

Both of the stories show us about base ten, which we use nearly every day and don't even realize it.

If we want to write any number, we have ten **digits** we can use: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. If you notice, there is no one digit for the number ten- we need to use two digits, the 1 and the 0. We can only count to nine without the need for two digits. Therefore, we use **base ten** in order to make bigger numbers. **Base ten** is a counting system that uses ten digits to write down all numbers.

We use base ten for money also. When using base ten, we can trade ten pennies for a dime (ten ones for one ten). In the chart, you see we can have up to nine in any particular column. However, when we have nine and want to add one more, we need to exchange it for one ten (a dime). If we want to have more than nine in the ones column, we must move it to the next bigger column: tens.

The same is true for the tens (dimes). When we get ten tens, we can trade that in for a hundred. (For instance, ten dimes is one hundred cents or one dollar). If we want to have more than nine in the tens column, we must use the next bigger column: hundreds.

Our system uses groups of ten.

- Ten ones is ten.
- Ten tens is one hundred.
- Ten hundreds is one thousand.
- Ten thousands is ten thousand.
- Ten ten-thousands is one hundred thousand.
- Ten hundred-thousands is one million.

Look at all the tens! Maybe that helps explain what a base ten system is. We use base ten for money too:

- Ten pennies is a dime.
- Ten dimes is one dollar.
- Ten one dollar bills is a ten dollar bill.
- Ten ten-dollar bills is a one hundred dollar bill.
- Ten hundred-dollar bills is one thousand dollars.

And we could keep going!

**Base ten** is a system of counting that only has ten digits. All numbers can be written using the **digits** 0 through 9. If we want to have more than nine in one column, we must use the next column. Our counting and our money system are in base ten.

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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