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.

Achievement Objectives
NA1-3: Know groupings with five, within ten, and with 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

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