Knowing how to make ten is an important skill for your Kinders to master. Click through to grab a free printable game that invites students to practice making ten. It is easy to prep and fun to play, so add it to your classroom resources today.

Building addition fluency is such an important skill for Kinders! Being able to add,  without counting on fingers, starts with the ability to quickly identify the number of items in a small set without counting. The next building block requires learning the combinations for 5 and 10

However, we don’t want our Kinders to simply memorize the number facts. We want them to REALLY UNDERSTAND how the numbers work so that they can start to develop number fluency. So for example if a student experiments and discovers that 4 + 6 =10, they can eventually go onto add higher numbers in their head.

Think of the skills that are involved in adding 4+7. There are a number of ways we can reach the answer. We may think

  • 4+6=10 and 7 is 1 more than 6, so 4+7 = 6+4=10 +1 = 11
  • Or we can split the 7 into 6 and 1, use the 4 with the 6 to make 10, and add on the extra 1.

Both paths require a mental process and an understanding that 6+4=10. This kind of fluency begins with lots of hands-on experience with ten frames, objects and drawing. Ten-frames are wonderful tools, aren’t they?  They allow the students to see and experience (as they place the manipulatives on the frame) how two numbers add up to ten. That is how the connections are made and fluency develops. To help you provide some hands-on learning, here’s a quick game that will help your students practice combinations for 10, using manipulatives, cards, and ten frames

You can use this game in a math center or have it on hand for early finishers. If you have students that need extra practice, you can direct parents to this post and they can make their own copy.

The best part is that it requires very little prep and is easy to set up.

Teacher’s Tip: Have you heard of the mathematical learning disability Dyscalculia? My son has it and one of the first symptoms was his inability to learn his number facts. He simply couldn’t manage them, no matter what we tried. If you have students that are really struggling with basic math, they may have this learning disability. 

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