Buttons and Frames


This activity is to allow students to explore all the combinations to ten.  These are necessary facts to come to know as they are used as a base to derive other facts from.  For example 8 + 4 = .  I know 8 + 2 = 10 there’s 2 more so it’s 12

Specific Learning Outcomes

name the combinations to 10.

Required Resource Materials
Beans, buttons or counters that are one colour on one side and a different colour on the reverse.
  1. Flash a ten frame at the students and then hide it.  Ask students;
    How many dots did you see? 
    How many more would you need to make 10? or
    How many gaps are there?
  2. Check by showing the students the ten frame again.  Flash a different one.  This is to encourage students to image these patterns in their head without having to count the individual dots.
  3. Put students into pairs or small groups of 3 or 4.  Each group of students will need a set of ten counters coloured different colours on each side and two blank ten frames. 
  4. Students can take turns to shake the counters and empty them onto the floor in front of them.  The counters are then sorted into the 2 colours and placed on the 2 ten frames.


  5. Students can record the number sentence on a piece of paper.