Ten Frame Spinners! Great Guided Math Activities and Math Workstation Ideas

Posted on October 11, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Get your ten frame spinners here!  (ok, the link is here now!)

You could play any of these games in guided math groups or in math workstations:

1)How many?

2) How many to make ten?

3)Spin 2 spinners and add them together.

4) Subtract Spinner Number from 10 or 20

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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Subitizing and Guided Math Groups: Part 1

Posted on December 14, 2010. Filed under: Assessment, Graphic Organizers, Guided math, Guided math with Dominos, Manipulatives | Tags: , , , , , , |

Subitizing is being able to look at a number and know how many without counting.  It refers to “rapid, accurate and confident judgments performed for small numbers of items. It comes from the Latin adjective subitus (meaning “sudden”)” and has to do with immediately knowing how many items one sees for a small set of numbers.  When we are talking about larger sets we often estimate or count.

There are two types of subitizing. Perceptual subitizing is looking at the number and knowing how many without any mathematical processes taking place.  Conceptual subitizing is based in mathematical processes, such as looking at the parts and the whole. An example of this iswhen you see the eight domino and you know that it is five on one side and three on the other and that makes eight.  Spatial patterns are just one kind.  Other patterns include kinesthetic ones such as finger patterns, rhythmic and spatial-auditory (Clements, 1999).

We usually teach students to subitize up to ten. See  http://www.poweroften.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=37&Itemid=103

Spatial arrangements make subitizing easy or hard.  Rectangular arrangements seem to be the easiest followed by linear, circular and scrambled arrangements increasing in difficulty (cited Clements, 1999). You can use dot cards, domino cards, number-cube cards and ten frames to teach subitizing.  You can also use bingo chips and interlocking cubes.

Subitizing is a fundamental skill in the development of students’ understanding of number (Baroody, 1987).  Clements  (1999) writes that students can use subitizing to develop understanding of number, conservation and compensation.  In part 2 we will discuss this further.








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Ten Great Ten Frame Videos! Great examples for whole class and guided math lessons

Posted on November 13, 2010. Filed under: Graphic Organizers, Guided math, Manipulatives, Multiple Intelligences | Tags: , , , , |

Ten frames are one of the top ten manipulatives that every elementary teacher should have!  I have written before about this great tool, but here I am highlighting some instructional videos.  Watch them for some fantastic ideas!

1.       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6RaMGDPfJg (good introductory video)

2.     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_xFBoSEyj8&feature=related (Look at these large ten frames! I like the size.)

3.       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ0cpiD_dO4&feature=channel (Smartboard Lesson!)

4.       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZhsigFt-aA&feature=related (Teacher in action)

5.       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlrDL1qUdlA&feature=related (Missing Addend Lesson)

6.     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwPdVl7RpJk&feature=related (Kindergarten lesson using ten frames to compare numbers)

7.       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqUwc8yUsKg&feature=related (notice the use of two colors for the dots in these practice cards)

8.       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXMMfgiQ9RA&feature=related (notice the use of two colors for the dots in these practice cards)

9.       http://www.eduplace.com/cgi-bin/schtemplate.cgi?template=/kids/mw/help/eh_popup.thtml&grade=2&chapter=2&lesson=5&title=Make+10+to+Add&tm=tmfc0205e (TEN FRAME VIDEO TO USE WITH STUDENTS)

10.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRWSQFPvchc&feature=related (Look at these commercial ones, but you can just as well make your own student sets)

Here is a Ten Frame:


Additional Resource


Be sure to see the other posts in this blog about ten frames.  Do a search for ten frames, number bonds and fact families.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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Using Two Sided Counters for Guided Math Lessons

Posted on November 8, 2010. Filed under: Differentiated Instruction, During the Guided Math Lesson, Graphic Organizers, Guided math, Manipulatives, Math Centers | Tags: , , , , |

Two sided Counters! Everybody needs them. They are so great.  You can use them to model all the operations.  They are officially called Double Sided Math counters. They usually come as red on one side and either white or yellow on the other.  You can also just make them by spray painting lima beans. You can also print out paper ones http://www.teachervision.fen.com/teaching-methods/printable/44640.html?detoured=1

5 Frames -Use them with 5 frames. Teach them in small groups with the actual frame and then move to the internet games.  In the games on this site, you work on different strategies, such as counting, missing addend and adding with 5 as a landmark number. http://illuminations.nctm.org/activitydetail.aspx?id=74

10 Frames – Use them with 10 frames. Teach them in small groups with the actual frame and then move to the internet games.  In the  games on this site, you work on different strategies, such as counting, missing addend and adding with 10 as a landmark number.  You also work on teaching the visual representation of using lucky 8 and lucky 9 otherwise known as compensation.  Ten frames allow students to see what they are doing.  http://illuminations.nctm.org/activitydetail.aspx?id=75

Addition -Students can use these counters to practice addition problems.  Each color is a different addend.  They model with the manipulatives.  I also set up problems where they have to take an equation and build the model.

Equivalent Names – Students toss the beans and then color in the amounts on this Math Their Way bean template… http://www.center.edu/BLACKLINES/001-061/033-039.pdf.  There are templates for equivalent names from 4-10.  I have the students make equivalent name books.  I also have the students to match different pictures with different equations.  I also have them to use the mats to build the different equations.

Comparing– Students toss the counters and then compare the amounts of each color.

Patterning – Use the counters to make different patterns…abc, abab, abcd, ababbabbb, abc

Fractions– Have students toss the counters and then write the fractional part of each color.  http://www.math-lesson-plans.com/support-files/day8fractionswithtwocolorcounters.pdf

Probability – Give the students one double-sided counter and have them flip the counter 10 times and record the colors.  They discuss how many times it lands on each color and discuss the probability of each color coming up.

Negative Numbershttp://www.math.nmsu.edu/~breakingaway/Lessons/subtractcounters1/subtractcounters.html


Two color counters come in plastic, in foam, as magnets, in circles, and in bean shapes.


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Number Bonds/ Fact Families/ Complements of Numbers and Guided Math

Posted on August 30, 2010. Filed under: Graphic Organizers, Guided math, Math Centers | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Number bonds, fact families and complements of numbers basically are names for the same concept. They describe the relationship between pairs that make up a number. So for instance, 1+4, 2+3, 0+5 are all number bonds of five. For children to develop automaticity with number facts they need to learn their number bonds up to 18. They should learn these first through 5, then through 10, then through 18  cut and paste this url to arrive at this page…http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/pdfs/number_bonds_to_10_rp.pdf

The key component to this is to build understanding at the three levels: concrete, pictorial and abstract. Too often math textbooks jump right to the abstract level, asking students to make connections that they don’t really understand. I have written a post on fact families and ten frames but I would like to discuss this idea further here (be sure to see those posts for further discussion).

Concrete: It is important to start with concrete materials.

1. Use a 5 frame and two sided markers. So students can see the relationships of building numbers that build five. They toss the markers and see the different ways to make five.

 2.  Use snap cubes.  For example, I would use 2 green snap cubes and 3 blue ones.  I would then lead the students through activities where they explore the relationships.

3. Explore other numbers up to ten.

4. Use a 10 frame and two sided markers.

5. This is an excellent site that shows how to build through the 3 levels:



Pictorial- The children follow the steps above but then color in their answers on the templates. 


At the pictorial level have them make cards that illustrate the bonds: http://www.mathcats.com/explore/factfamilies/printaddcards.html


Some printouts that are colorful and engaging. http://www.sparklebox.co.uk/1211-1215/sb1213.html



Abstract – At this level, add the number sentences. You can also add the fact family triangle. Superfun Power Point Game: http://www.wmnet.org.uk/wmnet/custom/files_uploaded/uploaded_resources/851/Hitthebuttonv7.swf http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/MrShah/63856

Interactive Powerpoints:  (All these power points you have to cut and paste the url to see…they can all be found on this website http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/mathsC1.htm)

(http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/powerpoint/Making_10_2.ppt http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/powerpoint/numberbonds_to10_SP.ppt http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/powerpoint/number_bonds_to_10_partyhats.ppt http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/powerpoint/numberbonds_to10.ppt

These you can link to instantly:

http://www.amblesideprimary.com/ambleweb/mentalmaths/numberbond.html www.sparklebox.co.uk/md/addsub/bonds.html (great visuals some at pictorial and some at abstract level)

Practice sheets: Great Booklet to Make:

(Again you have to cut and paste these urls into the browser to arrive at exact page) http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/docs/Number_Bonds_Booklet.doc http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/docs/number_bonds_to_10_strips.doc http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/pdfs/SFnumbersearch1.pdf http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/pdfs/SFnumbersearch2.pdf http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/pdfs/nbonds10PDF.pdf http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/pdfs/3easyadd.pdf http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/pdfs/LH_making10and20.pdf http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/docs/number_bonds_to_10_LD.doc http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/pdfs/LH_numberbonds.pdf http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/powerpoint/numberbonds_to20.ppt

Great Links  cut and paste http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/maths/mathsC1.htm (most of the links above come from this site –there are tons more here…I just organized them and highlighted the ones I like)

Other Links




Also in this blog search:

ten frames, ten frame, fact families

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Use Tens Frames to teach Guided Math Lessons

Posted on March 31, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Tens Frames are great graphic organizers to teach children complements of 5 and 10.  They use these to practice what’s missing from a set to make it complete. As NCTM points out, ”  The ten frame uses the concept of benchmark numbers (5 and 10) and helps students develop visual images for each number. For example, this device makes it easy to see that 6 is 1 more than 5 and that 6 is 4 less than 10.”

There are some great ten frame resources on the web.  See these websites for ideas and manipulatives.

Must Have: Free Ten Frame Flashcards! http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/oaklandes/mathstudentworkpages/gr1un2page6.html

Ten Frame Ideas


Smart Board Lesson:http://education.smarttech.com/ste/en-US/Ed+Resource/Lesson+activities/Notebook+Activities/Browse+Notebook/United+States/Elementary/K-3/Math/Ten+Frames.htm

Using 10 frames to add and subtract up to 20: http://illuminations.nctm.org/LessonDetail.aspx?ID=L551

Above Reference: http://illuminations.nctm.org/LessonDetail.aspx?ID=L547

Additional References:


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Guided Math Lessons Using Tens Frames

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Differentiated Instruction, Graphic Organizers, Guided math | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Tens frames are a great tool for teaching guided math lessons.  The ten-frame provides a spatial representation that supports children’s visual understanding of  “five-referenced, ten-referenced, and doubles-referenced conceptions of numbers up to ten and the development of mental imagery for such numbers. It also supports development of partitions of ten.

Teachers should start off by using 5 frames to make sure that students learn the complements of 5. Then they can move on to using 10 frames.  These frames can be used to teach students at the concrete, pictorial and abstract level.  Use two color markers (if you don’t have these then just spray paint some lima beans so they are two-colored). See the ideas and links below for resources.  

Concrete Level Activities:  

1.  The markers are tossed and then placed on the board.  The children add up how many are red and how many are white.  They do this several times, noticing the different ways to name 10.


Ten Frame Board: http://www.ablongman.com/vandewalleseries/Vol_1_BLM_PDFs/V1%20All%20BLMs.pdf

2.  A number is generated with dice, dominos or cards and then the children place that many markers on the board.  They have to tell how many more they would need to get to 10. 


Pictorial Level

1.  The children actually play the above games, but color in where the markers would go.

2.  The children play games with ten frame flash cards.  This is a great way to illustrate FACT Families.  They get to SEE the FACT FAMILY in this way.




Abstract Level

1.  At the abstract level, students are bringing together their understandings and actually working with the numbers by writing out the number sentences.  At this level I have students make a book and write the number sentence under each representation.

2.  I also have the children match the picture of the ten frame with the correct number sentence.            

3.  Here are free downloadable worksheets using 10 frames for problem solving.                 http://www.fuelthebrain.com/Printable/boosters.php?p=1&act=tags&val=combine&gr=


Use these to teach complements of 20.  Also use these to teach doubles and double +1 facts.  So for instance, you have the students illustrate 3 +4 so that they can see this is a doubles +1 fact… have them do the +1 in a different color so it stands out.  You would illustrate this at the concrete level and then carry it over to a pictorial level by drawing it and finally by having the children find all the double +1 facts in a stack of flash cards.  You want them to easily recognize doubles +1 facts because it helps with their automaticity.  You can definitely lay the foundation by illustrating and practicing with the tens frames.  Great activity and song for teaching compensation with 9’s using a tens frame http://www.songsforteaching.com/carlsherrill/9bemyfriend.htm

More Ideas and Games:




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