Fun with Ten Frames

If you know me well, you know that my brain N.E.V.E.R. shuts off.  Thanks to my ever thinking brain, I have been working on my plans for the first few weeks of school.  Part of those plans involve some hands-on fun with ten frames. Keep reading for a few ideas!

I know that I don't have to convince you of this, but ten frames are a great tool for developing number sense within ten, or even twenty.  We want (and need) our students to be able to understand relationships, to think flexibly, and to be able to reason.  When students are able to do these things, they are equipped to more easily use mental math, conduct basic reasoning as it applies to numbers in the real world, and so on.

A ten frame workmat, like this one, is a great way to have some fun while building number sense. 

I plan to use these mats to build numbers and play games. Ten frame games?  Yes!  Ten frames can be useful AND fun!

Most likely you have used ten frame flashcards in your classroom during your whole group or small group instruction.  Why not hand those flashcards over to the students for a game of Ten Frame Flash Fun?

Ten Frame Flash Fun
How to Play:
  • Group your students (3-4 students per group)
  • One students shows his/her group a ten frame flashcard for 3 seconds
  • Group members have to build this number on their blank ten frame
**You could easily use this activity with double ten frames, which is what I will be doing.

You'll need:
  • ten frame workmats
  • ten frame flashcards (like the ones below)

Click here to download these free flash cards.

Another quick and easy game would be Roll to 10 (or 20).

Roll to 10 (or 20)
How to Play:
  • Pair students up
  • Give each pair of students a die
  • Students take turns rolling the die
  • Each time a student rolls a number, he/she adds that many counters to his/her workmat
  • The first to fill his/her ten frame(s) is the winner
 You'll need:
  • ten frame workmats
  • dice
Once your students know these games, you can revisit them often, or place them in your centers for students to use throughout the year.

I also use these mats when I introduce the "Making Ten to Add" strategy.  This concept always makes more sense to the students when they are able to practice it using the mats and counters.

Ready for some hands-on ten frame fun of your own?  Then, be sure to grab your ten frame freebie here!

And, if you're looking for more great ten frame activities, be sure to check out my Fun with Ten Frames pack on TPT.

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  1. Thank you for this! I am always scrambling for ten frame work mats and usually end up just drawing one with a sharpie on a blank piece of paper (ugly!!!) I am going to print these out and laminate them and have them handy! Thank you! :)

    1. You're so welcome! I'm glad I'm not the only one that had not so cute ones lying around-tee hee! Enjoy!!

  2. Very cute! Mine are old and tacky...plain white on some faded purple paper. These are much cuter :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks so much! I love the polka dots- my new theme this year, along with bees- and the yellow. black & white is perfect!

    1. I'm so glad they'll be useful and match your theme! I am planning on the same colors and theme (polka dots, bees, and daisies) next year. Small world!



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