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Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Featured Early Years Foundation Stage; US Kindergarten
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Stage: Early years and 1
Article by Liz Woodham
In our article
How Can I Support the Development of Early Number Sense and Place Value?
, we outline a range of activities which will help. Ten-frames are one model which is useful in this context and here we offer three games using ten-frames, which will help to develop children’s understanding of ten as one of the most significant numbers in our number system. These games are taken from Jenni Way's original article
Number Sense Series: A Sense of 'Ten' and Place Value
(4 -6 years) 4 players
Materials: A dozen ten-frames with dot arrangements on them, a blank ten-frame for each child, counters. You could print off these sheets:
Rules: One child shows a ten-frame for a count of three, then hides it while the other children place counters in the same positions on their frames from memory. The 'flasher' shows the card again and helps each child check his/her display. After three cards the next child has the chance to show numbers and so on, until everyone has had a turn.
1. Points can be awarded for each correct response. The child with the most points wins.
Game 2: Twenty
(4-6 years) 3-4 players
Materials: Blank ten-frames (two per child), counters, dice. You may wish to print off this
Rules: Each child takes a turn to roll a die, places that number of counters onto his/her ten-frames, then announces the total number of counters on the frames. The winner is the first player to fill all twenty spaces.
1. Each turn could include placing the correct numeral cards under the frames.
2. Each player can also announce the number of counters needed to reach twenty. The exact number must be rolled to win the game.
Game 3: Guess What?
(5 – 7 years) 2 players
Materials: Blank ten-frames, counters, a large board to act as a screen/barrier between pairs of players. Here is a blank ten-frame you could print off:
Rules: One player secretly arranges some counters on a ten-frame. The other player asks questions that can be answered yes or no, trying to gain enough clues to work out the arrangement of counters. For example: Is the top row full? Are there 8 counters? Is there an empty box in the bottom row?
1. As players become more skilled the number of questions can be counted. The player who asks fewer questions wins.
Comparing and Ordering numbers
Multiplication & division
Addition & subtraction
Meet the team
The NRICH Project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. To support this aim, members of the NRICH team work in a wide range of capacities, including providing professional development for teachers wishing to embed rich mathematical tasks into everyday classroom practice. More information on many of our other activities can be found here.
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