I was fortunate enough to spend some time in a Kindergarten classroom today, demonstrating the use of ten frames. A ten frame is a 5 x 2 array, usually positioned sideways, and filed with counters arranged from top to bottom, left to right. Ten frames are wonderful creations that can be used to teach number recognition, counting, subitizing and beginning addition and subtraction skills.
Today I introduced ten frames to the little Kindies that I was working with. We practiced counting the blue and red counters that we were using, being very careful to match one-to-one as we counted. Then we practiced recognizing numerals on flashcards, filling our ten fames, and saying how many more we needed to make ten. Once we had the hang of how ten frames work, we were ready for some centres.
One group worked with me. We turned a flashcard over, identified the numeral and counted out counters as we filled our ten frame with that many counters, all the same colour. Then we estimated how many more we would need to fill in the rest of the ten frame. After we agreed on an estimate, we filled it up using a second colour of counters. We talked about how ten is a very special number, and we need to know how many make ten. In the picture above, we learned that 8 and 2 make 10!
I love the ten frames set that I purhased last year. They are made of foam and have a magnetic backing in case I want to demonstrate to the class using the magnetic whiteboard. The foamy counters are blue on one side and red on the other. I purchased these from Spectrum.
One of the other groups was working with the Hot Red Ten Frames that I purchased from Teachers pay Teachers. This set comes with car cards that may be placed on the mats, but the kids prefer using "real" cars (they're more fun)! So long as the cars aren't zooming around the carpet, I'm fine with that. At this centre, the students rolled a dice to see how many cars to start with. Then, just like the other group, they stated how many more cars they needed to fill the "parking lot," and then proceeded to park the cars while they confirmed their estimate.
The third and final group of students was playing Memory with another set of ten frame cards that I purchased from Teachers pay Teachers. Today we just used ten fames and numerals from 1-10, but you can see from the picture that double ten frames are included in the set as well.
At the end of math centre time, we practiced some subitizing. I flashed a ten frame card to the students and challenged them to name how many dots were on the card without allowing enough time for them to count the dots. This recognition of knowing how many at a glance is called subitizing.
if you are interested in using ten frames with your class (recommended for use with Kindergarten to Grade 2), here is an excellent resource: It Makes Sense! Using Ten-Frames to Build Number Sense by Melissa Conklin. Click here if you would like to purchase this awesome book from Amazon.
Travelling Curriculum Support Teacher