Addition to 10 is a crucial component of primary curriculum. Students need a ton of time and repetition to master addition facts to 10. Within the skill of sums to 10 is the skill of knowing what numbers make 10. Since our number system is based on the number ten, this is truly important for kids to understand. Finding those pairs of numbers that add up to 10 requires a lot practice! I created this Math Facts Game: Make Ten with Sticky Notes as a fun way to help learn number bonds and build fluency on making ten.

– Life Over C's making 10 with sticky notes what makes ten addition activity

Recommended Grade Level:

Making 10 Addition Supplies:

  • Sticky Notes
  • Butcher Paper/Wrapping Paper
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Marker

Learning Number Bonds of 10

FACT FAMILIES OF 10

MATH FACT FLUENCY GAMES ARE A GREAT WAY TO INTRODUCE NUMBER BONDS IN KINDERGARTEN AND BEYOND.

By 2nd grade, common core curriculum covers several pre-algebra skills, like finding missing numbers in number bonds to 20.

Understanding number bonds makes addition and subtraction, mental math and learning math in in general, easier. The more math fluency students have, the more effortless complex math becomes.

Children should ultimately know automatically what number pairs make ten. This game is a really fun way for kids to gain that automaticity we’re hoping for.

The Make 10 sticky note game gives children lots of practice finding the number pairs that make ten and moving them into the circle.

While bonds to 10 worksheets are handy to check for understanding, this interactive game is way more effective at giving valuable fact practice. While playing, encourage kids to:

  • Say each fact out loud
  • Reverse the fact and say it as a ‘turn around’
  • Build subtraction relationships by thinking about the fact in reverse
– Life Over C's What makes ten math game pic 2

What Can Children Learn With Math Games?

MATH ADDITION TO 10 GAMES

LEARNING ADDITION AND SUBTRACTION FACTS WITH INTERACTIVE GAMES IS A GREAT WAY TO SNEAK IN VALUABLE SKILL PRACTICE WITHOUT KIDS REALIZING HOW MUCH THEY’RE REALLY LEARNING.

Knowing math facts of 10 contributes to other math knowledge and skills:

  • Place value
  • Base ten system
  • Adding and subtracting within 100
  • Flexible thinking/compensation
– Life Over C's

Why Is It Important For Kids To Know The Sums of 10?

Knowing what makes 10 contributes to overall number sense. When kids have strong number sense, as they learn more complex math skills, they can apply strategies with greater ease.

Number Sense

Playing math games improves numbers sense which is the ability to understand, compare/contrast, and relate numbers to each other.

Automaticity

When children effortlessly (automatically) know basic math facts, it makes more complex computations easier.

Vocabulary

Encouraging kids to use math vocabulary while playing games (sum/difference/total/greater than/less than)is a meaningful way to practice.

Cooperative Learning

Simple games with partners or small groups give kids a lot of practice with social skills, like taking turns, following rules, and winning/losing.

How to Make This Make 10 With Sticky Notes Game

To Prep:

This game is big, but it’s easy to prep. Cut off a length of brown wrapping paper and draw a large circle in the middle with marker. Use painter’s tape to stick the paper to the wall.

Note: I use painter’s tape often to attach things to the wall. It always comes off easily and never peels the paint. 

Use a marker to write single numbers on each sticky note. I wrote each number from 0 to 10 twice. Arrange the sticky notes on either side of the circle.

To Play:

Children will find pairs of sticky notes that equal ten and put them together in the circle. Examples of free number bonds for 10 include 6/4, 9/1, 7/3. Keep going until all the sticky notes are matched up and in the center.

The game goes quickly, but can be played time and time again until you take the paper off the wall. It’s a great way to stand up and move while practicing math facts. Children will be excited to play and the more they play, the more they will memorize pairs of ten.

– Life Over C's What makes ten math facts game pic 2

Extend the Activity

Ten Frame

Pair the activity with a ten frame by picking a sticky note (7), then placing that number of counters on the ten frame. Count the empty boxes to find it’s match (3).

Get Colorful

To aid in learning facts with more automaticity, use a different color sticky note for each number pair. It will be easier to find the fact if the color is also a clue.

Keep Order

When kids are super comfortable with sums of 10, they will be able to pick random numbers and name the number that goes with it. To learn, it can help to teach the pairs in order (1 and 9, 2 and 8, 3 and 7, 4 and 6, 5 and 5).

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– Life Over C's making 10 with sticky notes what makes ten addition activity

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Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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