Last week I spent two days in sunny Avon Park, FL, working with teachers from Avon Elementary. It was a real treat because I finally got to meet and spend time with my previously-cyber-friend turned flesh-and-blood-friend, Sara! She was such a gracious hostess and made me feel right at home.
Sara and her friend Kelly took me out to dinner one night, and we talked about…what else…MATH. They shared a neat routine that they used last year, and I wanted to share it. So I proudly present to you Sara and Kelly’s Ten Frame Placemat (now hot pink to match Sara’s classroom decor!).
They made ten-frame mats for each student on 11 x 17 paper and laminated them.  I added the number line because I had extra room at the top and, well, can one really have too many number lines? 🙂
Here are notes from Kelly on ways they used them:
  • Have students start at the top left and “read” the placemat from left to right: “1, 2, 3…” Go to the second row and continue counting. Ask students to analyze the frames as they move along and have them describe what is happening as they move from frame to frame (more dots, less white space, add a dot every time, etc.).  You could ask students what the frame before the 1-frame would look like, and what would we call it- why would we call it “zero.”  (A zero-frame just wouldn’t fit on this page!)  You could do the same with the frame to the right of the 9-frame.
  • Call out different numbers randomly and have students touch that frame.  They could quiz each other by taking turns calling out a number and having their partner find the number.
  • The frames should be large enough to use counters to fill in white spaces to model addition sentences.  For example, the teacher says, “Find the 3-frame. Add one. How many are there now?  How did you know?  Do you see any frame that is the same as this one?”  The teacher could model this using a document camera (elmo) before having the class do it.
  • Subtraction sentences could be modeled.  The teacher would say, “Find the 7-frame.  Subtract 2. (Students cover 2 dots with a hand or fingers.) What is the difference?”  Subtraction expressions could be written on the board as well.
  • Find “10 Partners:” the teacher would say, “Touch the 2-frame.  What it the 10-partner? (8) What do you notice about the dot places on the 2-frame and the white spaces on the 8-frame?”  Repeat with other frames.
  • Mental math: the teacher would call out an addition or subtraction sentence (or write it on the board) and students would find the frame for the sum or difference.

And here are some pictures of their placements in use.

Didn’t I tell you this is a great little tool?  If you think of other ideas to add to the routines listed, please comment and share.  Click here to grab your copy of the placement.  It’s sized to print on 11 x 17 (which works great for using counters with it, but you can “fit” it to print on other sizes as well.


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