Using Tens Frames for "Teen" Numbers


The purpose of this unit is to recognise and understand teen numbers.  This is an essential piece of knowledge for the part-whole strategy of bridging to ten.

Specific Learning Outcomes

recognise and understand “teen” numbers, 11-20.

Description of Mathematics

Number FrameworkStage

Advanced Counting (Counting on)

Pre-requisite knowledge / skills: form addition facts to ten using dot patterns on a quinary frame


Teacher hold up a full tens frame and asks
How many have I got?tens frame.

  • Teacher holds up another card, alongside the full tens frame, and asks
    How many have I got now?
  • Repeat several times ensuring that the numbers 11 – 20 have been covered.
  • Teacher repeats above but this time shows the students the full tens frame has been turned over so the dots are not visible.
  • Teacher models 11 on the tens frame.
    Let’s look at the number 11.  How would we write that?
    Records: 10 + 1 = 11 then works through 10 + 2 = 12, 10 + 3 = 13 etc similarly to show the pattern.
  • Teacher asks students to solve problems such as 10 + 4, 10 + 9 with a focus on quick recall.

Extension Activities

Teacher models one of the teen numbers on a tens frame.  Students record the written form “15” while one student uses the expanded numeral cards to record the number.  Once the recording is finished teacher asks:
What does the 1 mean?  [1 group of ten]
What does the 5 mean?  [ 5 ones]

Teacher adds further blank tens frames to the model, for example 21: two tens and a 1.

Note: the context of a train with one full carriage and one partly full carriage can be used in this teaching sequence

Log in or register to create plans from your planning space that include this resource.