Math Activity for Kids: Tens Frames

Making your own flash card-style tens frames is an excellent way to teach kids math concepts. You can use it to cover lessons on math facts, addition, subtraction and place values.

To do this, you need:

How to do it:

  1. Draw a line across your blank index card to divide it into two rows
  2. Each row needs to have 5 columns or frames (for a 3 x 5 index card, each column should be an inch thick)
  3. Place your dots in different frames. Feel free to leave spaces between them.

Make as many as you want with different configurations for the same number (for example 4 can be 2 dots on the top row and 2 on the bottom, it can be 1 line of 4 dots on just one line or one line with 3 dots and another with just 1).

Make it a game to teach kids by giving them a time limit to answer how many dots are in the tens frame. I usually start with 5 seconds per card, then with a lot of practice lessen the time to 3 seconds.

Here’s our video of how we made our tens frames.

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