The focus in this post will be an introduction to ten frames and ways they can help your students gain number sense. Then stay tuned because ten frames can also be a great tool for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Subitizing: This is the ability to recognize an amount without physically counting. Looking at the picture of red counters: If the top row is full, does the student automatically know there are 5? Doing a Number Talk is a great way to practice subitizing using a ten frame:
Use your own or pre-made dot cards. Flash the card for 1-2 seconds. Observe students. Are any of them trying to point and count? Or do they seem to know right away? Here’s a great video I recommend: KG Number Talk with ten frames
Tell students to put their thumb in front of their chest (quietly) to signal they know how many there are.
Ask a few students to name the amount.
Then ask this very important question, “How did you know?”
For the top picture you might hope a child says, “I knew there were 5 because when the top row is full, there are 5.”
For the bottom picture, you might hope for these types of responses: “I saw 4 (making a square) and 1 more.” or “I saw 3 and 2 more.” or “I pictured the 2 at the bottom moving up to the top row and filling it up, which is 5.”
The idea is to keep building on this.
What if I showed 4 in the top row? Can the student rationalize that it was almost 5? Do they see 2 and 2?
What if I showed 5 in the top row and 1 in the bottom row? Can the student think “5 and 1 more is 6?”
Here are some resources you might like to help with subitizing using ten frames.
Number Bonds:Using ten frames to illustrate number bonds assists students with composing and decomposing numbers. Students then see that a number can be more than a counted amount or a digit on a jersey or phone number. Here is an example of number bonds for 6:
In the next few posts, I will show various ways to conduct daily math meetings which you can incorporate into your daily schedule (as part of your normal morning meeting routine, or at the beginning of your daily math lesson). Daily Math Meetings (10-15 minutes) are vital for quickly reviewing math concepts and number sense in more visual and discussion based format. With primary students, this math meeting might center around the calendar bulletin board (or SMARTboard presentation). With intermediate students, it begins to take on the aspects of a “Number Talk” with a variety of computational strategies being the focus.
PreK – KG Level Components:
Days of the Week
Months of the Year
Graphing (weather, etc.)
Place Value (tens and ones: ten frames, straws, sticks, etc. to keep track of the days of school – working toward the 100th day)
1st – 2nd Grade Level Components:
The above plus . . .
Number Bonds (How can we break apart this number? Such as 10 = 3 + 7 or 6 + 4)
Place Value and skip counting using a 100 chart
Number of the Day (word form, base ten form, place on a numberline, tally marks, on a ten frame, expanded form, etc.)
Ordinal Numbers (using the calendar)
Counting money (add one cent each day and exchange pennies for nickels, nickels for dimes, etc.)
4 is 1 away from 5. 4 is 2 and 2 (or like a square).
This is such an important process in the continuum of counting, adding, and subtracting numbers. It means students can recognize certain quantities without physically counting each one. Continue reading →
For 1st -3rd grade students: Refer to “Number Talks Part I” (posted Nov. 12, 2016) for ways to conduct a Number Talk with KG and early 1st grade students (focusing on subitizing and number bonds). For students in 1st – 3rd grade, place extra emphasis on number bonds of 10.
Problem: 8 + 6
Problem: 15 + 9
Problem: 18 – 9
Problem: 35 + 22
Problem: 99 + 6
Problem: 200 – 48
Write a problem on the board, easel, or chart tablet with students sitting nearby to allow for focused discussion. Have the following available for reference and support: ten frame, part-part-whole template, base ten manipulatives, and a 0-100 chart. Present addition and subtraction problems to assist with recall of the following strategies. If time allows, post another similar problem so students can relate previous strategy to new problem. Students show thumbs up when they have an answer in mind. The teacher checks with a few on their answer. Then he/she asks, “How did you solve this problem?” The teacher writes how each student solved the problem.
Reference these videos on youtube.com for examples by clicking on the link: