Making 5 in the Digital Age

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

I was talking to one of my Kindergarten teachers today about the importance of having our kiddos leave Kinder with an absolute and total understanding of 5.  The common core standards state that Kindergarten students should fluently add and subtract within 5.  There are sooooo many great concrete ways to practice combinations for 5.  Some of my favorite include number bracelets, linking cubes, and 5 frames.  But I also found a great technology resource for combinations of 5.  It’s from NCTM’s Illuminations website, and it’s called the 5-Frame Tool.  Students can use the activity in a variety of ways and it provides voice cues, making it perfect for pre-readers.  There is also a 10-Frame Tool.  Check it out!  Even for adults, it’s kind of addicting.


Take a peek at these Kindergarten products:
Common Core Kindergarten Numbers from 11-19
Make 5 Memory and War
More Making Five Math Center for Practicing Combinations to 5



  1. Amy B

    I love your blog! Thanks for all of the great ideas!!!!! I wish I was a math coach 🙂

    Amy Burton

    • Donna Boucher

      Thanks, Amy! I have to say that being a math coach is my dream job. 🙂

  2. Mrs.Kazanjian

    These games will be so helpful to my students! I added them to my blog for them to play and practice! Thank you!

  3. Anonymous

    Donna, I was looking for some new math ideas and I stumbled upon your website. Great ideas! (we used to work together at FE- Lynn)

    • Donna Boucher

      OMGosh!! So good to hear from you. I still keep up with the goings on at FE. Such great memories!

  4. Ms. Griffin

    Hello Donna, I have been following your posts on Pinterest and have used many of your ideas in my classroom with my grade one students. I find the ideas you share meaningful, practical and engaging…….exactly the ‘stuff’ I’m looking to build my math program with. Thank you!

  5. Linda Hicks-Green

    Dear Donna
    Thank you for providing us with such great resources. Your blog always makes me smile

  6. Michelle Bittick

    NCTM Illuminations is way underutilized in my opinion. The 5- and 10-Frame Tools have been my go to for as long as they’ve had them available. As a math coach, (in elementary for 8 years, and an interventionist, too, for 1 1/2 of those years) NCTM is the place to go to for proven resources that are research-based that are free or nominal fee. Well worth the money to join NCTM to have access to articles and discounts, too. Calculation Nation is another underutilized tool. Now that I’m retired, I’ll still share when given the opportunity.

    • Donna Boucher

      I agree!


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