by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

Welcome back to Part 3 of my Ten Frame series. This will continue with some more ideas on using ten frames for addition and place value. Be sure to grab my **free** set of mini ten frame dot cards and Place value mat with ten frames to use with these activities.

**Add 9**:

How often do you see students counting their fingers, drawing tally marks, or other figures to add 9? But what if they could **visualize and conceptualize** adding 9 is almost like adding ten, but one less? This is where the ten frame comes in handy.

- To be most efficient with adding 9, help students to add 10 (or a multiple of 10) to any single digit. Example: 10 + 7, 20 + 4, 50 + 8 . . .
- Show a problem such as 9 + 7 as part of your daily Number Talk. Observe and listen to how students are solving.
- Introduce this strategy by showing two ten frames – one with 7 and the other with 9. Check for quick recognition (subitizing) of these amounts on each ten frame.
- Move one counter from the ten frame with 7 to the ten frame with 9. This will complete it to a full ten frame. Then add 10 + 6 mentally.
- The purpose is for students to visualize that 9 is just one away from 10 and can be a more efficient strategy than using fingers or tally marks.

- Practice with several more +9 problems.
- For 3rd and up try mental math problems such as 25 + 9 or 63 + 9. Then how about problems like 54 + 19 (add 20 and take away one)?
- Can students now explain this strategy verbally?

**Subtract 9:**

- Let’s say you had the problem 14 -9. Show 2 ten frames, one with 10 and one with 4 to show 14.
- To subtract 9, focus on the full ten frame and show that removing 9 means almost all of them. Just 1 is left. I have illustrated this by using 2 color counters and turning the 9 over to a different color.
- Combine the 1 that is left with the 4 on the second ten frame to get the answer of 5.
- Looking at the number 14, I am moving the 1 left over to the one’s place (4 + 1 = 5). Therefore 14 – 9 = 5

Use of the ten frame provides a **concrete** method (moving counters around) and then easily moves to a **pictorial method** (pictures of dot cards). These experiences allow students to better process the **abstract** (numbers only) problems they will encounter.

**Place Value Concepts:** Continue reading