Using Ten Frames to Add
Basics on the topic Using Ten Frames to Add
Addition with Ten Frames
Ten frames are charts with two equal rows of five. They have ten spaces in total. When we place counters in those spaces, we can see different numbers within ten. Ten frames are useful to illustrate additions to twenty. For example, the number six has six counters in a ten frame. Each box has one marker, or counter, and there are six in all.
If we fill up the entire ten frame, it means we have a set of ten! When we see a full ten frame, we know the amount is ten right away without having to count!
We can use a ten frame horizontally or vertically. It works the same both ways because the amount of spaces does not change.
Addition with Ten Frames – Example
Why do we use ten frames in addition? Modeling addition using a ten frame helps children visualize the numbers you are adding together. Since each number is represented on the ten frame, it allows children to count out their answers.
Let’s use the example three plus two. Start by showing the first number, three, in counters on the ten frame.
Then, show the second number, two, on the ten frame using counters again.
Now, count ALL the filled spaces on the ten frame.There are five counters in all, so three train cars plus two train cars equals five train cars.
Ten Frames Addition – Summary
Ten frames can help you when you are doing additions up to 20. In order to visualize addition using ten frames, you need to do the following:
Step #  What to do 

1  Look at the first number in the problem and put that many counters on the ten frame. 
2  Then, look at the second number and put that many more counters on. 
3  Finally, count all the filled spaces on the ten frame and write the answer. 
 If a ten frame is full, you know you have ten without needing to count.
 If you fill up one ten frame, and still have more counters left, use another ten frame.
Have you practiced yet? After watching the video, you can also find interactive exercises, worksheets and more activities on ten frame addition.
Transcript Using Ten Frames to Add
The Hamtrack Express is almost ready for its first passengers. Conductor Squeaks just has to figure out how many train cars to add. We can help him by "Using Ten Frames to Add." Ten frames are charts with two equal rows of five with ten spaces in total. When we place counters in those spaces, we can see different numbers within ten. For example, the number six looks like this in a ten frame. Each box has one marker, and there are six in total. If we fill up the entire ten frame, it means we have a set of ten! When we see a full ten frame, we know the amount is ten right away without having to count! We can use a ten frame like this or like this. It works the same both ways because the amount of spaces does not change. Now, let's help Mr. Squeaks add his train cars together!' His first choice is to add three cars plus two more. He can use a ten frame to solve this problem. Start by showing the first number, three, in counters on the ten frame. Then, show the second number, two, on the ten frame using counters again. Now, count all the filled spaces on the ten frame. There are five counters in all, so three train cars plus two train cars equals five train cars. Conductor Squeaks could add five train cars to the track! Next, he wants to try adding seven cars plus three more. Let's show the first number, seven, in counters on the ten frame. Then, let's show the second number, three, in counters next to the ones already there. Now, count all the filled spaces on the ten frame. Wait! We don't have to count this time! The ten frame is full, which means there are ten in all. So seven train cars plus three train cars equals ten! Conductor Squeaks could add ten train cars to the tracks! Finally, he wants to try adding nine cars plus four more. What do we do first? First, we show nine counters on the ten frame. What comes next? Next, show four more counters on the ten frame. Uhoh! It's full, but we have three counters left, what can we do? We can use another ten frame and put the rest of the counters there! Now, we count all the filled spaces on both ten frames. Since we have a full ten frame, we can start counting at the number ten and continue with the second frame: eleven, twelve, thirteen! Nine train cars plus four train cars equals thirteen train cars! Conductor Squeaks could add thirteen train cars to the track! Before we see how many cars he decided to add, let's remember. Today we learned to add using ten frames! Ten frames are charts with ten spaces that help us see numbers within ten. To use them to add. Look at the first number in the problem and put that many counters on the ten frame. Then, look at the second number and put that many more counters on. Finally, count all the filled spaces on the ten frame and write the answer. If a ten frame is full, you know you have ten without needing to count. If you fill up one ten frame, and still have more counters left, use another ten frame. Look there goes Conductor Squeaks! He decided to add ten cars, but where has Imani been?
Using Ten Frames to Add exercise

Can you complete the addition number sentence?
HintsHow many red cars are there? This is the first number.
How many yellow cars are there? This is the second number.
How many spots are there altogether in the tens frame? This is the answer.
Solution3 + 4 = 7
There were 3 red cars so we put 3 in the first box. There were 4 yellow cars so we put 4 in the second box. In total, there are 7 spots in the tens frame therefore there are 7 cars altogether.
As this is an addition problem, it does not matter which order the addends, or numbers we are adding, go.
We could have also put 4 + 3 = 7.

How many altogether?
HintsLook at the shape the dots are making to think about which number they are representing. Remember, if the tens frame is full we know that it equals 10.
For example, here we have 2 red dots and 2 yellow dots which is 4 altogether.
How many dots are there in each tens frame altogether?
Solution 2 + 4 = 6
 4 + 5 = 9
 1 + 7 = 8
 7 + 3 = 10

Which tens frame can help us solve the problem?
HintsWhich two numbers are we adding together? Which tens frame shows these two numbers?
How many red cars are there? This is the number of red dots there should be in the tens frame.
How many yellow cars are there? This is the number of yellow dots there should be in the tens frame.
SolutionThis is the correct tens frame as there are:
 2 red dots to represent the 2 red cars
 7 yellow dots to represent the 7 yellow cars
The answer is 9.

Use the tens frames to find the answers.
HintsHow many of each color dots are in each picture? These are the numbers you are looking for in the number sentence.
How many dots are there altogether in the tens frames? This is the answer to the number sentence.
For example, here we have:
 10 red dots
 7 purple dots
 17 dots altogether
SolutionHere we can see that:
 6 + 6 = 12
 10 + 6 = 16
 6 + 8 = 14
 10 + 10 = 20

How many cars on the train?
HintsWe are adding 3 and 5 together so the answer will be bigger than either of these numbers.
Look at the tens frame, how many dots altogether?
SolutionMr. Squeaks has 8 cars altogether on this train.
 5 + 3 = 8
 3 + 5 = 8

What is the total in each of these tens frames?
HintsLook at the amount of spaces the dots take up, which number is this equal to?
How many dots are in each set of tens frames altogether?
SolutionHere we can see the combinations that total each of the numbers.