Apps for Making Ten

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 walked into a 2nd grade classroom Thursday to find the students busily engaged in math workshop.  Several students were working with iPads and playing what looked to be an addictive math game.  I sat myself down and asked them to show it to me.  The app, Numbers Logic Puzzle, is a Candy Crush-like game for making ten. Players swipe neighboring number tiles that add to 10, causing the tiles to disappear and new tiles to fall into place. When I got home, I downloaded it on my iPad and gave it a go myself.  Wonderfully addictive! My only complaint about the free version is that I don’t particularly like the ads for their other apps that pop up.  They are not bad enough to prevent me from recommending the app, but I just wanted you to be aware of them.

While I was at the app store, I decided to look for other free apps for making 10. It’s such a critical skill that kiddos need all the engaging practice they can get.  I found a couple of others.
Make 10+, which is also free, features comic book style graphics that will be very appealing to students. The game basically involves selecting a tile from the bottom that pairs with the tile on top to make the target sum.  As players advance through levels, the tiles on the bottom rise up more quickly.  If the bottom tiles reach the top tiles, it’s game over. The app is called Make 10+, because it’s so much more than making 10.  Using the settings, you can change the sum, so you can differentiate play for a student’s individual number.  If, for example, a student is working on combinations for 5, they can play using 5 as the target sum. Another great feature is the ability to play using dots in place of numbers.  This is perfect for developing subitizing skills and offers representational support for students who aren’t quite at the abstract (symbolic) level.  Overall, this app gets an A+ from me!
Franklin’s Friends of Ten is another freebie with catchy graphics and music.  I’m not exactly sure about the connection between Ben Franklin and the complements of 10, but I think students will enjoy the fireworks.  Two features I like about this app.  First, the number line representation shows students the symmetry in the complements of ten, emphasizing patterns and leading to generalizations (the higher one addend is, the lower the other needs to be).  Second, this app actually shows the friends of ten as an equation.

These are good ones.  Go forth and download!! 🙂



  1. TheElementary MathManiac

    Can’t have to many resources for friends of 10! Two other good freebies for the iPad for friends of 10 are find sums and 10 frame fill.

    The Math Maniac

    • Donna Boucher

      You are absolutely right, Tara. SUCH an important skill!! Thanks for the other suggestions. 🙂

  2. Christy

    This looks awesome, I’m going to share it with the primary teachers and on my blog linky “Classroom ‘App’lications” I hope you don’t mind!

    Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road

  3. Kristie Moore

    These are great, but if you happen to come across similar apps for making tens, etc for Chromebooks, that would be awesome! I’ve looked, but haven’t been too successful! Thanks!

    • Caterina

      Yes, I am interested in games for the Chromebook, as well.

  4. Kim

    Love it!

  5. jessy

    i like this

  6. Barbara

    The number logic game actually has several levels. After quite a few levels it switches to make 11, make 12 …… All the way to make 18.

  7. Nancy Golden

    My favorite “make 10” game is called “number bonds” — it uses the images of colored cuisenaire type rods to show the combinations visually at first, and then moves to the bars with no colors, and finally to numbers. It’s from the London Knowledge Lab. Great for all level learners

  8. Lori Breyfogle

    Thanks Doona! I was surprised how hard it was for me to adjust from making sets of ten to making elevens on the Nimber Logic Puzzle. Can’t wait to let my students try this one out. They LOVE Make 10+


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