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Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Making 10: Part 3

Subject Area





In this activity, students will demonstrate their understanding of creating pairs of numbers that equal ten.

This activity was created as a result of the ALEX Resource Development Summit.

    Mathematics (2019) Grade(s): KG

    For any number from 0 to 10, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, by using concrete objects or drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation.

    Unpacked Content

    Unpacked Content



    • Compose


    Students know:
    • Characteristics of addition and subtraction contexts such as putting together, adding to, taking apart, and taking from.


    Students are able to:
    • Represent quantities and operations physically, pictorially, or symbolically.


    Students understand that:
    • two smaller quantities join to create a larger target quantity.
    • A quantity may be broken into smaller quantities.
    • Mathematical tools and representations (ten frames and ten fingers) can be used to solve problems efficiently.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Students will apply their knowledge of number pairs that equal ten to create multiple sets of number pairs equalling ten.

    Activity Details

    1. The teacher will gather students to carpet or another area of the room where they can all easily view the demonstration. The teacher will have the following materials for the demonstration: Deck of Numeral Cards, Making 10 Board, Making Ten Recording Sheet (optional).

    2. Begin with the Making 10 Board empty and the deck of Number Cards stacked, face down. The teacher will model turning over nine cards from the Number Card deck, face-up, to fill the Making 10 Board.

    3. The teacher will model selecting a card from the Making 10 Board then ask, "What other numbers can I pick from the board that I can pair with this to make 10?" (Example: teacher selects number 4, students suggest number 6 from the board to make 10).

    4. Teacher models using the two cards to complete the Making 10 Recording Sheet equation.

    5. Teacher models taking two cards from the deck, and turning them face up to fill the empty spaces on the Making 10 Board.

    6. The teacher takes turns playing with a student partner for several rounds. During this time make sure to model what to do if the number needed to make ten is not on the board (return the card and select a different number pair). Also, make sure to model asking your partner if they agree or disagree. If the partner disagrees, they can state their reason and demonstrate their thinking for their partner if necessary. As the teacher, make some mistakes (example: select cards 1 and 3 to make 10) and have students explain why this pair does not make 10 and cannot be selected for this game.

    7. Pair students.

    8. Give each pair a set of Number Cards, and a Making 10 Board. Give each student a Making 10 Recording Sheet (optional).

    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Informal Assessment/Observation: As students work, ask them to explain their pairings and why they work together to make ten. Also, ask students questions similar to "Could you make ten with 7 and 1 dot? Why or why not?"

    Assessment of Recording Sheet: The teacher will note whether students were able to successfully create equations equalling ten by reviewing the student's finished work.

    Variation Tips

    If available in your classroom, allow students to use a number balance or an online number balance to demonstrate the equality of each pair of numbers to 10 (Example: 10 on one side of the number balance, 9 and 1 on the other side to demonstrate the equality of the two sets of numbers).

    For struggling students, allow them to play the game several times without the recording sheet using a number balance to check their number pairs.

    For students who have a firm grasp of making ten, select the Making 10 Recording Sheet that best fits the needs of your students.

    Approximate Duration

    Related Learning Activities

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Prior to teaching the activity, the teacher will need to:

    create student groups.

    prepare a set of Number Cards for each group.

    prepare Making 10 Game Board for each group.

    prepare Making 10 Recording Sheet for each student (optional).

    Materials and Resources

    Digital Tools / Resources