Making 10

We’ve been working on decomposing numbers and finding different numbers that are “hidden” — basically ways to make various numbers 🙂 This week we are focusing on different combinations to make 10 – a crucial concept that will carry over into many different math lessons. The kids have been using lots of different tools to write and see that 10 can be made lots of ways! We completed a “Rainbow to 10”, which shows the combinations to make 10 AND how we can switch the order of the addends. For example, 9+1 and 1+9 both make 10 🙂


We did a follow up activity where the children had to read a story problem about apples and find different combinations of colors that the apples could be. The problem stated, “There are 10 apples. Write a number sentence to show how many could be red and yellow. You can draw a picture or use tools to help you”. Our class was so independent and they were true thinkers as they used many different strategies to help them. In the picture below Charlie is using 2-colored beans to find her combinations. With ten beans in her hand, Charlie shakes them, lets them drop and then sees the two parts – how many red and how many white. A GREAT way to find combinations to 10!


Here’s a finished product of the activity:


Lastly, we used one last tool to more concretely see various ways to make 10 — a bead bracelet 🙂 Each child strung a pipe cleaner with 5 red beads and 5 white beads and we worked to manipulate the beads to show different ways to make 10. A bonus of this activity: it’s a great way to work on fine motor skills!

IMG_3101 IMG_3102


All of these activities are fun, easy and effective. You can do them at home with your child with any number, not just 10! Next week we start word problems — can’t wait!


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