Ten is obviously an important benchmark in our number system. In Kindergarten, learning the combinations of the numbers up to ten is a year-long process. Ten-frames are an ideal tool for exploring combinations for ten. Because of its relationship to ten, one hundred is also an important benchmark. Students can practice composing 100 with a kit of small printed ten-frames.
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This activity comes to use from Van de Walle’s book. Students make a two-digit number by rolling two dice. They build the number using the ten-frame cards and mentally determine the number needed to compose one-hundred.
Next, they share their solution strategy with their partner. Remember, the process is more important than the solution. There are multiple mental strategies that could be used to compose one hundred. Looking at the example on the card below, one common strategy is to add 7 to 63 to make 70 then count by tens to 100. Another is to skip count forward by 10s from 63 to 93 and then add on the 7 ones.
The student then checks their work by building the second number using the ten-frames. Of course, a common mistake when making one hundred is ending up ten over. For example, thinking that 63 and 47 make 100. That’s why the check step is important.
You can download the workstation instructions and a sheet containing cards for a student ten-frame kit here. To make a student kit of small ten-frame cards, copy the sheet on cardstock, laminate it, and cut the cards apart.