To download a PDF version: Digi-Block Vocabulary Sheet 2008

Single Block

A single digi-block with a unit value of one.


The container into which the blocks are packed. Holders are referred to by size (small, medium and large) rather than by place (i.e. hundreds holder). This is because there is an inherent duality in the holders – they may contain blocks-of-10 but they form a block-of-100.


We use the term “block-of-100” instead of “100 block” in order to avoid confusion. If students are asked for 500 blocks, it should be clear to them whether they are being asked for five blocks-of-100 or 500 single blocks.


A small holder, packed with ten blocks, and covered with a second small holder.


A medium holder, packed with ten blocks-of-10, and covered with a second medium holder.


A large holder, packed with ten blocks-of-100, and covered with a second large holder.

“Smart Box”

This term refers to the fact that the holders “know” when there are ten blocks packed inside. Two holders will only snap closed to form a larger block when they are completely full.


To put exactly ten blocks into a holder and cover with another holder to form the next larger block.


To remove a cover and take blocks out of the holder.

Pack as much as possible

To fill as many holders with exactly ten blocks as can be filled. When blocks are packed as much as possible, there are no more than nine of any size block.

Counting View

Numbers viewed as a string of names starting at zero and ascending in order, one-by-one, like an odometer. This is also the view of number that is presented by a number line. In the Counting View, to add 10 to a number means to count on from the starting number 10 additional steps.

Place Value View

Numbers viewed as a string of digits, each of which represents a power of ten. For example, in the number 237, the 2 represents two hundreds, the 3 represents three tens, and the 7 represents seven ones. In the Place Value View, to add 10 to a number means to increase the digit in the tens place by one.