Building Number Sense with Games Using Ten Frames

Building Number Sense with Games Using Ten Frames

Using Ten Frames games, and ten frames printables allows students to visualize and subitize numbers. Use this ten frames template and ten frame flash freebie with pumpkin counters to build foundational skills in preschool, kindergarten and first grade. Keep reading to learn more and get your classroom ten frame freebie.  

Why I Count On My Fingers

So why does a 50+ year old, slightly mature girl, who taught 25+ years, still count on her fingers when adding and subtracting????

Why???

Pretty simple.  I internalized number not by visualizing it but by muscle memory.  (I actually move my fingers when I count…. Oh man, don’t think less of me…. One of my many, many faults… And I assure you not my worst fault– unfortunately.)

Visualizing Numbers Is Best

How can students VISUALLY internalize number?  How can we make them confident with number? How can we teach kids better than they way we were taught?

Use a ten frame.  Ten frames are perfect for learning number sense and visually internalizing number.   

Here are 6 benefits to Ten Frames

1)They are easy to prep

2)Perfect for preschool – 2nd grade

3)Kinesthetic if you are building a number using manipulatives

4)Fun to use during all themes and seasons. (Freebie Alert Ahead… A fall themed ten frame activity is coming up)

5)Teaches multiple number concepts

6)Easy for students to independently manage and use on their own

What Are Ten Frames???

Watch this youtube video from a channel called “tenframe” to learn more about ten frames.  

Ten frames can be used again and again to practice visualizing quantity (subitizing), adding, subtracting, place value, even/odd and much more.  

Ten Frames Are Da' Bomb

I don’t want to say that ten frames are the silver bullet when it comes to learning number BUUUTTT…. Ten Frames are da’ bomb and I think the more you use them the more your students and you will love them.  

Ten Frames are Da' Bomb

Use Ten Frames Preschool-2nd Grade

Using ten frames in preschool all the way up to second grade can help ensure that students are not “counting” when subitizing and solving addition and subtraction problems.  Instead they will be able to visualize solutions because their number sense will be outstanding.

If I had internalized number by being able to visualize using a simple tool like a ten frame, I would rely on my visual memory and not my muscle memory (counting on my fingers.)

"Flash" Ten Frame Game

This is a easy, fun activity to do with prek-2nd grade.  To differentiate the difficulty use different ten frame cards.  Here’s how.

Flash Frame Preschool Style

Use five frames first.  Download and print (on cardstock) this set of Pumpkin Patch Five Frame Freebies 0-5.  (Whew, say that five times fast.)

Cut them out and “flash” them at your students.  It’s got to be quick. Like one second. That’s it.  

If they can tell you how many they saw, great. Flash another number at them.  If they don’t know then follow this procedure. (And remember you teach preschool…. smile, have fun, be silly, use a crazy voice, be engaging)

Show them the card but not long enough for them to count the pumpkins.  Hide it and tell them how many. Then “Flash” it again and say the number while you flash it at them.  Now it’s their turn. Flash it and they say the number. Yahoo!!! Do it again just for good measure. If they start doing really good use the ten frames.

Here’s a quick video to model this fun activity.  

Here’s a 5 frame song from the amazing Jack Hartman.  

Flash Frame Kinder Style

Kindergarten is the same as preschool but many of them (but not all) will fly through the five frames first.

A word of caution.  

You are going to think, “Meh, my kinders are too smart for five frames we are movin’ right on to ten frames.”  

But I say…. hold your pumpkins…. Take it slow.  You are building a visual memory and the more you practice the greater the benefits in the future.  So take some time even if it’s “easy”. Just tell them how smart they are and do the five frames first.

Now, do the ten frames… Same as the fives.  Flash it fast. They should NOT be able to count.  They need to have the visual.

Some students will get tricky and hold the picture in their brain and count it there.  If they can’t say the number fast then it’s a no go.

If they can’t get the number fast it’s the same procedure as with preschool. 1) Show them the card but NOT long enough for them to count the pumpkins. 2) Hide the card and tell them how many.  3)Then “Flash” it again and say the number. They can repeat the number to you.4) Now it’s their turn. You “Flash” it and they say the number. Yahoo!!! Do it again just for good measure.

Here’s your Pumpkin Patch Ten Frames 0-10 (It’s actually all the cards because I want you to have access to all of it.)

Flash Frame- Firstie and Super Seconds Style

You teach First or Second Grade???? You think that you should just jump right into the teens?….STOP.  

Just like with kindergarten you need to build that visual memory.  Start with 5 frames, move to 10 frames. Don’t go onto 20 frames until your students can use the 10 frames fluently.  And by fluent I mean add and subtract number to 10 instantly without using ten frames.

You are your students best judge of skill.  I’m just saying Take It Slowoooowwww.

So same as preschool and kindergarten…   Get some card stock and download and print this set of Pumpkin Patch Five, Ten and 20 Frame Freebies 0-20.

Cut them out and “flash” one card at your students.  It’s got to be quick. Like one second. That’s it.

If they can say how many, great. Flash another number at them.  

If they don’t know then follow this procedure.  Show them the card but not long enough for them to count the pumpkins.  Hide it and tell them how many. Then “Flash” it again and say the number as you flash it.  Now it’s their turn. Flash it and they say the number. Fast!!! Yahoo!!! Do it again just for good measure.

Five, Ten, and Twenty Frame Nirvana

Alright.  Now you are off to five, ten, and twenty frame nirvana. (So to speak).  Your students are going to benefit soooooo much. You are building an amazing foundation that will last them for the rest of their life.  (Wow!!! How many professions can say that???…. Ummmm…NONE…except you.)

That’s it for now… Next week we will do more with ten frames and pumpkins…If you want the product for next week’s post you can head to my TpT store.

Heads Up For New Readers

Just a heads up.  The followers of this blog already received next weeks product in their email inbox. (The rest of the world has to purchase but my followers get it freeeeee.)

I like to send freebies to my followers.  You don’t want to miss out on the next surprise freebie. Take 5 seconds and sign up with your name and email to get “The Blueberry Pancake Problem” pdf and support materials. Then when the next freebie comes out you will get that as well.  I love taking care of my follower and you might as well enjoy all the benefits too.

Until Next Time.....

Keep being your amazing self.  You are a light.  Shine bright.  Only you can do you so… be the best you.  

Angie K

Angie K

I love to help teachers create an amazing teacher life.
I've taught for 25+ years and I want to help you find joy and energy in each day.

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