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Ten Flashing Fireflies: Booklet for the Combinations of Ten

Math practice should be engaging for students, and what could be more engaging than connecting math to a charming children’s book? And while we want math to be engaging, let’s not forget that the goal is still to teach math skills, so it also has to be purposeful. In Kindergarten, one of the most critical skills is learning all of the combinations for the numbers up through ten. It’s the foundation of addition/subtraction fact fluency. And the combinations for the number ten are especially important, because of the importance of ten in our number system.

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I’ve been spending time in a great book that was recommended to me, Common Core: Math in Action, K-2, and I found a nifty little activity for the combinations of ten that gets kiddos kinesthetically involved and includes a literature link. The activity uses the book Ten Flashing Fireflies. Ten fireflies are shining in the night sky, and one by one they are caught and put in the jar. For the mini-lesson, you have students act out the story: nine fireflies in the sky and one in the jarโ€”nine and one make ten. I made a little booklet that students can make after acting out the story to record their combinations for ten.

ten flashing fireflies booklet

It only takes three pieces of paper to make and is super low-prep. Your students will enjoy personalizing their booklet with a little color! Once they’ve created their booklet, they can read it over and over again to help learn their combinations for ten. Check it out here.

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  1. I sent you an email, but just in case I sent it to the wrong place, I figure I’d comment here. I love this idea. I teach kindergarten, so anytime I can use a book to help me teach or reinforce a concept is great! In the book, do you have the kids just draw the correct number of fireflies in the jar and in the sky themselves, or do you recommend something? Thanks for sharing!

    1. I don’t think I got the email, Pam, so I’m glad you commented here! Yes, they just draw the fireflies in the jar and in the sky.

  2. Love the literature connection. But, I have a question about the number path. Do you have research, articles or comments about using it in PreK and Kindergarten? Thanks!

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