Ten Plus Card Game

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.

Happy Monday and happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  Here’s a little game, based on a Van de Walle activity, that addresses two important common core standards: (1) K.NBT.1, compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into tens and some further ones, and (2) 1.NBT.2, understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones.  I’m calling it Ten Plus.  All you need is a standard deck of cards and these free “10+” cards.

Here’s how to play:

  • Remove the 10 cards and face cards from a deck of playing cards; deal out the remaining cards to the two players.
  • Lay the “10+” cards face up between the two players.
  • Each player turns over a playing card.  Players add the two numbers together and try to find a matching “10+” card.  For example, in the first picture, the two players turned over a 9 and a 7.  The sum of 9 and 7 is 16, so the 10 + 6 cards matches.  One option is to take the matched “10+” card off the table.  Another, more challenging, option would be to leave the “10+” cards on the table and have the kids record combinations for each “10+” card.
  • If the two cards equal a sum less than 10, one of the players turns over another card.  For example, in the second picture, the players first turned over a 5 and a 2 for a sum of 7.  Since that’s less than 10, one player turned over another card, a 4, for a sum of 11.
There is no real winner in this game–players work collaboratively to find the matching cards.  I’d love to hear your comments about this easy little math center activity!

16 Comments

  1. Dianne

    I love this! I am going to try it with my class this week. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Looking forward to hearing about it, Dianne! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Jenny

    What a great idea. Love your ‘Van de Walle’ links..thanks so much.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      You’re welcome, Jenny. Van de Walle rocks!

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      I totally agree, Tara!

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    This is a WONDERFUL idea! I’m going to put this in my idea tub for next year. However, I am unable to open the “10+” cards on my computer. Would you be willing to email it to me? [email protected] Thank you!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Sorry for the trouble! I just emailed it to you 🙂

      Reply
  4. Heather Cotts

    Love this simple yet effective activity! Also, I just finished Van de Walle’s K-3 book…awesome! Thank you for sharing the activity.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Glad you like the game, Heather. As for Van de Walle, how can anyone teach math without that book???

      Reply
  5. Amanda Hay

    Great activity! I think I will pull it out again when we talk about the equal sign and ask my second graders to write out the equations. (10 + 2 = 6 + 6) Thank you!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Oh, yes! Perfect for that, Amanda!

      Reply
  6. Micheal Jim

    Perfect knowledgeable card game. I think every ones hould but these types of card games for giving more knowledge via games to your children’s

    Reply
  7. Recovering Traditionalist

    Awesome, here’s a variation – include extra ‘9’ cards and take out the ‘1’s and ‘2’s to encourage kids to see how 9+something relates to 10+something…maybe just have stack of ‘9’s and stack of 2-9, flip over one from each stack and then find the Ten Plus card that matches?

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      That’s a great variation!

      Reply
  8. Sherry Brogdon

    I am so glad I found this today! I will use it this week and I am sure my students will enjoy it! Have a great week!

    Reply

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