What Makes Ten - Ten Frames

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SWBAT find and list pairs of numbers that equal ten using a ten-frame and 2 sided (red/yellow) counters.

Big Idea

Kinders need repeated practice with experiencing combinations that make 10. This lesson is number 4 in a series that allows kids to discover those combinations on their own in a fun and exciting way.

Daily Calendar & Counting Review

15 minutes

Each day we begin our math block with an interactive online calendar followed by counting songs and videos.

Calendar Time:

We do calendar on Starfall every afternoon.  This website has free reading and math resources for primary teachers. It also has a  “more” option that requires paying a yearly fee. The calendar use is free. A detailed description of Daily Calendar math is included in the resources.

Counting with online sources: Today we did counting practice to reinforce the counting skills. We watched two to three number recognition 0-10 videos (one to two minutes each) because some of my students students were still struggling with identifying numbers correctly in random order. We watched"Shawn the Train" and counted objects with him to refresh our memories on how to count objects to ten and to reinforce one to one counting. Since we have started the second quarter of the school year, we added to today's counting practice: counting to 20 forward and backcounting by tens to 100 and counting to 100by ones to get a jump on our end of the year goals.


5 minutes

For this lesson, we review the addition sign and the equal sign because today the kids will be finding combinations that are equivalent to 10 and recording them on their What makes 10 recording sheet.

I begin with the signs -

Me: What is this (holding up the addition sign)?

Students: Addition sign!

Me: What does it mean?

Students: To get more!

Me: What is this (holding up the equal sign)?

Students: Same as!

Me: Awesome! Well now that you remember what the signs mean, you have a special job. Today you will be "Detectives of 10." Do you want to know what that means?

Students: (random responses)

Me: Well, it means that you are going to be looking for combinations (holding up the addition sign) of numbers that are the same as (holding up the equal sign) that are the same as 10!

Can any of you think of a combination that makes 10?

Random student: 5+5=10

Me: Okay, let's prove that. If we take five red counters and 5 yellow counters, do we get 10? Let's count them together - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Did we get 10?

Students: Yeah!

Me: Okay! Let's move on to learning the game!

Direct Instruction

10 minutes

The direct instruction for this game is teaching how the game is played. The kids have played games in previous lessons that address the concept of the "same as" so now they just need to apply it specifically to sums of 10.

One of the Common Core standards (K.OA.4) is to be able to find the number that makes 10 when given any number 1-9. This game will facilitate that understanding by the red counters being the "given" and the yellow counters will be the missing addend that will make the desired 10.

To begin the direction instruction, I explain the game like this:

Me: Today you are going to play What makes 10?. To play this game you and your partner will need one Turkey 10-frame, one cup of 10 two-sided counters. one pencil, and one What makes 10? recording sheet.

Does everyone recognize these tools? (wait a few seconds for any questions).

Good! Then I will show you how to play:

First, I make sure there are 10 counters in the cup. I only have to do this once before I begin playing. I can either count them one at a time as I drop them into the cup, or I can put them on my Turkey 10-frame and make sure there are enough to fill in all the boxes.

Next, after I've made sure there are 10 two-sided counters, I put all the counters back in the cup and I give them three good shakes (demonstrate). Now I GENTLY spill them out onto my Turkey 10-frame page. I put all the red counters in the frame first. I place them in there from left to right, top to bottom. Then I do the same thing with my yellow counters.

Last, I count the red counters and write that number on the first line of the number sentence on my What makes 10? recording sheet. I write on the line above the word, "red." Then I count the number of yellow counters and I write the number on the line above the word, "yellow." Then I count all of my counters together and make sure they equal 10. If they do I can pass all the tools to my partner.

Me: Do any of you have any questions about how to play What makes 10? (give a few seconds wait time)

Students may ask random questions, but some just need to confirm that they understand.

Me: Let's read our objective (student friendly) for today so we can focus on what we need to learn from playing this game:

I can remember more than one combination that makes ten.

Say it with me (we read the objective two or three times).

So our goal is to learn what numbers go together to make 10. Make sure you are really looking at that recording sheet and trying to remember what numbers go together to make the same as 10. There are a lot. When we are done play this game, we will try to write them all down on a poster.

(I ask a volunteer student to come up and be my partner for a last demonstration. I choose a higher achiever because I want the demonstration to be clear and concise for the students to view.)

Me: Partner A's will go first. Today I will be partner A. I cover the cup with my hand and shake it three times to mix up the counters. Then I GENTLY spill them out and put the red ones in the 10-frame first from left to right, top to bottom. I count my reds and record the number on the "What makes 10?" recording sheet. I count my yellows and record the number on the second line. Then I count them all together to make sure they equal 10. My partner should be watching carefully to make sure I am doing the game right. If I'm not, then she should NICELY tell me to recount or she should NICELY show me how to put the counters in the 10-frame correctly. If I do the game the right way, when I'm done recording the numbers I pass everything to my partner and it's then her turn and I am the watcher (rally coach).

Independent Practice

15 minutes

For this game I guide them through the first two or three rounds before I let them play on their own. This helps them grasp the steps in the game without giving them too much responsibility on their own at first. This prevents having to stop and start over when the game becomes overwhelming for them when it's released too early.

Round One:

I guide each step. I have the kids raise their hands in the air to show when they are done with each step so those antsy ones don't get ahead of where I'm at. They are the ones who usually end up making a mess of the game and frustrating their partner.

Me: A's put your hands in the air. B's put your hands in your laps. (anyone not following directions gets one warning. If they don't comply, they lose the privilege to play and they get a worksheet :(.)

A's cover the cup with one hand and shake the cup three times (count together 1, 2, 3) to mix up the counters. Now GENTLY spill the counters onto the Turkey 10-fram page. Put the red ones in first left to right, top to bottom.

B's, are you watching and rally coaching (monitoring for accuracy) your partner?

A's put the yellow counters in the 10-frame. Now write down how many red counters you have on your recording sheets. Now write down how many yellow counters you have. Now count to make sure you have ten counters all together and write 10 after the equal sign. Once you're done, pass everything to your partner.

Round 2:

Me: B's put your hands in the air! A's put your hands in your laps.

B's what do you do first? (wait for response) Okay then, show me (kids cover cup with hand, shake and spill).

Me: Good! Okay, now what do you do? (wait for response - put the red ones in the 10-frame). Okay, show me (kids put red counters in frame). Now what do you do? (wait for response - put the yellow counters in the 10-frame).

A's what are you doing right now? (wait for responses - rally coaching our partners)

B's what do you do next? (wait for response - write down the red, then yellow number of counters). Show me. What is the last thing you do? (wait for response - make sure there are ten counters and write down the 10). Okay! now do it and get everything ready and pass it to your partner.

The next round I just give reminder clues and I roam the room and help teams that may need assistance.

If everything looks likes it's going well, I let them continue playing on their own and only interfere if I see a team or student struggling.

I let them play until the 15 minutes of game time is over. 


5 minutes

I have the supplies collected from the tables and we gather back on the floor to discuss what we've learned.

We make a poster (tree map) of the combinations we've found that make ten so we can go over it each day and also have it for easy access. I try not to record the same combination twice.

Me: If I pull your name out of the stick can, I'd like you to tell me one thing you learned today.

Student 1: I learned that the counters can come out different a lot.

Me: Do you mean the combination was different each time you spilled out the counters?

Student 1: Yes.

Me. Awesome! You must have been playing the game correctly. Can you remember any of the combinations that you made that made 10?

Student 1: I remember that 8+2=10.

Me: Good! I'm going to write that on our poster (I record in a dark color other than black because it can be easily seen, but draws attention to it). I pull another stick.

Me to Student 2: Can you tell us another combination that makes 10?

Student 2:  6+4=10

Me: Good job! I'll write that one down, too.

The closure continues until we've recorded all combinations that make 10. Tip: It helps to write the sentences in order from the least to greatest first addend e.g.1+9. 2+8. 3+7, etc. So leave room between the combinations to accommodate for sequencing them in order.

Exit Ticket

5 minutes

I give the students a What makes 10? exit ticket that includes 4 questions. They only need to fill in the missing addend. They can even use the poster for support. The idea is to see if the kids have made a connection between the yellow counters (the second addend) and the missing numbers on the exit tickets. If they have, we can move on to a more challenging game/activity. If they haven't then our next lesson will be specifically addressing missing addends when the sum is 10.