Make a Ten Strategy for Addition

In Kindergarten, our kiddos learn their “Friends of Ten“. In other words, they learn all the combinations that make ten (ex., 2 + 8, 3 + 7, etc.). In 1st grade, as students begin learning their basic addition facts, they apply that knowledge in a strategy known as “make a ten” to help make sense of facts that might otherwise be hard to memorize, such as 8 + 4 or 9 + 5. To use the strategy, students decompose one of the addends to make a ten from the other. If you look at the example pictured below, the 4 is decomposed (split) into 3 and 1. The 3 is combined with the 7 to make 10, and then the 1 is added for 11.

The make a ten strategy can be extended when students work with larger numbers. Consider adding 37 + 14. Do you see the relationship to 7 + 4? Using the make a ten strategy, we could decompose 14 into 3 and 11, combine the 3 with 37 to make 40, and add 40 + 11 to get 51. Pretty cool, right?

The activity you see pictured above is a great way for students to practice the strategy of making a ten. You can grab yours here. You might also like this post with a freebie for using the Doubles strategy!

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1. This is so perfect and I cant thank you enough!!! You ROCK!
Amy

1. Donna Boucher says:

Thanks for the great idea, Amy! ๐

2. Perfect timing. My first graders are really struggling with this the way our textbook laid it out. Your way is much more logical. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to use this tomorrow.

1. Donna Boucher says:

My pleasure!

3. Becky says:

Ditto what Amy said. I LOVE this so much. My students really struggle with these complicated addition strategies. This breaks it down for them perfectly. Thanks a million!

1. Donna Boucher says:

Yea, Becky! Glad you think it will make it more clear for your kiddos! ๐

4. Sara Franza says:

Thank you, Donna. Can’t wait to use with my kiddos and share with my team. You are the BEST!!

1. Donna Boucher says:

Hey, Sara! So glad you like it! ๐

5. Jesse says:

Wonderful! I just printed and laminated these for my first grade team. They’ll be perfect for our next NY Math module #2. I suggested to my teachers that they use them for small group instruction, an independent center, or partner work. Thanks!

1. Jesse-we are using the math modules too! These do go well with #2!!!!
Amy Burton

2. Donna Boucher says:

Jesse, glad it’s going to work for you! Thanks for the alignment information, Amy. ๐

6. Julia Mondoro says:

I am so excited to have found this!! We just started this yesterday and it just went over their heads. My plan for the weekend was to look for extra activities and this is perfect! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

1. Donna Boucher says:

How cool, Julia!! Glad that it was so timely! Now relax and enjoy your weekend. ๐

7. Jan says:

Love this idea for teaching this strategy- thanks!

1. Donna Boucher says:

My pleasure, Jan!

8. TheElementary MathManiac says:

I love this strategy because it works for so many numbers. It even works as you get into really big numbers (making 40, 70, etc)

Tara
The Math Maniac

1. Donna Boucher says:

Absolutely, Tara! “Make a Ten” becomes “make a multiple of ten”!

9. Sara at school says:

Belatedly telling you thank you – used this right before Thanksgiving – because my 2nd graders were still struggling. Thanks for the freebie!

10. Kerry Marshall says:

I love this! We are just starting 1.OA.6 and this will be an AWESOME way to show it! I LOVE your stuff! ๐

1. Donna Boucher says:

11. Mrs. Pendergast says:

Thank you for reposting this activity! My first graders are working on this concept and these cards are so much more helpful. I plan on also having them use a double ten frame and a talk card prompt to make it more concrete for some of my students including ELL’s. Perfect timing! Thanks for all of your terrific material! I really appreciate it!

1. Donna Boucher says:

Love the addition of the double ten frames! Meet the kiddos where they are.

12. D. M. Keahey says:

Thanks these are great!

1. Donna Boucher says:

Thank you!

13. Cathy Lien says:

Thank you VERY much!

1. Donna Boucher says:

My pleasure, Cathy!

14. Taryn Wagenfeld says:

These are perfect and a great follow up to our second grade Math Trailblazers unit for my struggling intervention kiddoes. Your format is so simple and clear! What a great freebie. I plan to share this on my Facebook Page and blog! Many thanks for this great freebie.

Taryn
Taryn’s Unique Learning

15. Shannon says:

I have to be honest- I dread this skill!! My 1st graders struggled with bar model addition and subtraction and doubles plus and minus one. Like REALLY struggled!! It was painful. LOL!

But I’m going to press on. Thanks for these cards!!

16. Pat says:

I am tutoring a 5th grader that doesn’t know his facts. I showed him this strategy and he is improving everyday. Thanks for all of your wonderful post and website.

17. Jodi says:

This is AMAZING! Thank you SO much! ๐

18. Amanda says:

Thank you for this resource! This is a perfect visual for my kiddos.

19. Bonnie says:

Thank you! Do you have a resource like this for subtraction? I would like to teach my 2nd graders to find 12-5 (for example) by seeing 5 is 2 plus 3. Thanks!

20. Doris Lipari says:

Donna, I love your ideas. Thank You so much for this resource.

21. Brittany says:

I am crying tears of joy. This is the first time my 7 year old understood this concept and enjoyed it! Youโve managed to explain it in a kid friendly way, which our math curriculum did not. Thank you SO much!

1. Donna Boucher says:

Your comment makes me so happy! For a child to find joy in math is the ultimate success! Thank you for sharing.