Make a Ten Strategy for Addition - Math Coach's Corner

Make a Ten Strategy for Addition

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.

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 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!

33 Comments

  1. Doris Lipari

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

    Reply
  2. Bonnie

    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!

    Reply
  3. Amanda

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

    Reply
  4. Jodi

    This is AMAZING! Thank you SO much! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Pat

    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.

    Reply
  6. Shannon

    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!!

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

    Reply
  7. Taryn Wagenfeld

    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

    Reply
  8. Cathy Lien

    Thank you VERY much!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      My pleasure, Cathy!

      Reply
  9. D. M. Keahey

    Thanks these are great!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Thank you!

      Reply
  10. Mrs. Pendergast

    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!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

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

      Reply
  11. Kerry Marshall

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

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Thanks, Kerry! Glad it’s helpful. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Sara at school

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

    Reply
  13. TheElementary MathManiac

    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

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

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

      Reply
  14. Jan

    Love this idea for teaching this strategy- thanks!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      My pleasure, Jan!

      Reply
  15. Julia Mondoro

    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!!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      How cool, Julia!! Glad that it was so timely! Now relax and enjoy your weekend. 🙂

      Reply
  16. Jesse

    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!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Jesse, glad it’s going to work for you! Thanks for the alignment information, Amy. 🙂

      Reply
    • Amy B

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

      Reply
  17. Sara Franza

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

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Hey, Sara! So glad you like it! 🙂

      Reply
  18. Becky

    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!

    Becky
    Compassionate Teacher

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Yea, Becky! Glad you think it will make it more clear for your kiddos! 🙂

      Reply
  19. sassygirl

    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.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      My pleasure!

      Reply
  20. Amy B

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

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Thanks for the great idea, Amy! 🙂

      Reply

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