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Lovin on Maths (Pt 3): Mastering Ten and Moving On

If you’re teaching from the start with Ten Frames (appropriate exploration for pre-K to adult):

1st: Count the boxes in a blank ten frame a number of times with your students- from right to left, left to right, top to bottom, upside down. Prove that they can rely on there being ten spaces when they see a ten frame.

2nd: Work with the traditional set (linked a set that I have created- easy to print) I would recommend one ten frame per page- LARGE. Practice recognizing the numbers without counting. (I recommend NOT having the digit printed next to the ten frame/s. We want to develop number sense, not digit recognition.) Take time depending on level. Could be a month of repetition for Pre-K, 1-3 weeks for K, grade 1 and grade 2, a few days for grade 3 and up. Be sure to turn them vertically, horizontally, upside down. Add variation when mastering these. They’re useful for anyone developing number sense- not digit recognition. in other words, what does the number mean, in an amount, in an abstract? The digits – the written “8” for example- need to be connected to an idea of what that 8 represents, number sense.

3rd: Add the full ten frame with the single digit representations. For example:

Keep adding different single digit representations to the full ten frame. Recognize patterns for how the numbers are said.

Then, start writing the numbers (with and without the full ten frame): 16, 14, 12, 8, 4, 18, 10 ,11, 1

What are we seeing? How do these patterns connect- patterns in what we see with patterns in what we write?

4th: Start adding more ten frames. for example:

Play with these and seek out patterns- is what’s happening, in how they’re written- open up a place value discussion. 38 is our written number. It means 3 full ten frames and one almost full ten frame- missing only 2 from 4 tens or 40.

This is really the beginning of all math comfort, and math understanding. It’s all patterns. If you understand 10, what it means, what happens when we have more than 10, you can generalize to SOOOOO much math understanding. (ex. What happens when we have 10 full ten frames? What about 10 full hundred frames?, etc.) You can use some of these printables and have some coloring time. (Yes, coloring can be pretty and calming for everyone- all ages!) How many ways can you represent the 26?

The Big Idea

Play with ten, master ten, recognize ten and its parts. It is one of the key patterns in math. Seriously, if we really get ten, really start to adore it, we can move forward.

When we work only in digit representation, we lose the idea, the concept of the the number.

If we REALLY get ten, teaching 23 + 48 will support kids as they generalize their understanding to add 2,367 + 481.

That’s for next week.

Ten Frame Flashcards You Can Buy:

Free Online Resources for Ten Frames

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