3 Ways to Use Ten Frames

Ten frames are graphic tools that can help students build number sense. With young students I think it is important to begin with manipulatives and slowly move to abstract representations.

Here are three examples of how you can use ten frames with preschool and kindergarten students. I put them in order of difficulty.

1. 1:1 Correspondence

Begin with 1:1 correspondence. Have students match a number of objects to a visual representation. Differentiate for yours students by providing only frames from 0-5 to make it a little easier if necessary.

Fall Pumpkin 1:1 Correspondence

2. Ten Frame to Numeral Matching

After student have mastered counting and matching numbers using 1:1 correspondence begin having them make ten frame to numeral matches. The goal is for them to be able to identify the number of objects within a ten frame with automaticity.

Fall Pumpkin Ten Frame Numeral Matching

3. Building Ten Frames

Once students know how much a numeral represents, students are ready to begin building numeral representations. Use counters, play-dough, or any other small manipulative to make the activity fun and engaging.

Fall Pumpkin Build a Ten Frame


I you’d like to use the resource pictured here, it is free, download it here or in my TPT store. Enjoy!

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