10: A Helpful Best Friend

3 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT explain how they can use ten to solve a story problem.

Big Idea

Students solve problems and look for how 10 can help them make it easier!

Hook and Objective

10 minutes

Warm Up!

I will use the Make Ten game from Dreambox Learning. It is a free tool that I project onto the promethean board. I will show the game board, and students will get a whiteboard. They will record as many number sentences as they can that equal 10. They only get 4 minutes to record. After they record the number sentences, I'll have students "popcorn" call our the pairs. If we have time, we will play a game with a new gameboard.

Make 10 is an incredibly important understanding for students to have. When students have fluency with 10, they can compute accurately/quickly. This means they free up mental space for the other complexities of solving a word problem such as deciding what strategy to use, how to write the equation, etc.

Review and Connect:

We have been solving story problems and showing lots of strategies to do so all year. Today we are going to look closely at another strategy-we are going to see if we can use 10, our best number friend, to help make solving story problems easier.


Your thinking job today is: How can I use 10 to help me solve this story problem?

Opening Discussion

10 minutes

Present problem: I am making a necklace. I have 8 blue beads, 2 green beads and 3 red beads. How many beads are on my necklace?

Guiding Questions: I'll ask most of these questions in partners so all students are having to think about the answer, not just one!

  • Retell this problem to a partner.
  • What are the 3 addends in this number sentence?
  • Look for 10! Are there 2 addends you could combine to make 10?
  • What is the total?

I'll show this number sentence on a double ten frame. I'll use color to help students differentiate the groups of beads. The double ten frame is a great instructional tool because it helps students start to visualize numbers in a base 10 structure.



Game Rules and Practice

15 minutes

I will show how to record the game while we practice. This number bond recording sheet is free on the Fun, Fabulous, Firsties blog!

We are going to play a game called Ten Wins! In this game, we are going to work on finding 10 to help make adding 3 numbers easier.

Game Rules:

  1. Roll 3 dice.
  2. Look for 10: Do you have 2 numbers that you can combine to make 10?
  3. Highlight the addends you could use to make 10. No 10, no highlighter.
  4. Write the total.

We will practice playing the game a few times on the rug. Every time we practice, we will partner talk about whether or not there is a combination that makes 10.


Independent Practice

15 minutes

Directions: Students will record the numbers they roll on the number bond recording sheet. They will highlight number pairs that equal 10. This number bond recording sheet is free on the Fun, Fabulous, Firsties blog

See this video for how 2 students made 10 in their game! You'll also see how he takes a second to figure out how make 10 works in this particular problem.


Intervention: Students who need support in finding number pairs to 10 can use a ten frame to show the numbers in cubes. They will need 3 different colors of cubes to help them differentiate the groups.

Extension: Students who are already using this strategy need a push! Push these students to use 50 as a landmark number. Just as students need practice using 10 to help them solve problems, they also need to learn other numbers that they can use as a landmark number. 50 is a good number for students to use before they use 100!

Students can play the Grab It version. This is what we did. Students "grab" 3 groups of base ten blocks and look for 50! Watch this video of 2 students explaining how they found 50 with 40+10+31 and then how they found the sum.


5 minutes

I'll present this problem on the chart paper: 6 + 4 + 5 + 5= ____

Partner talk: Can you find a number sentence that equals 10?

We will quickly highlight the 2 pairs that equal 10, and solve the 4 addend number sentence.