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Count on Tens Frames: A Powerful Tool for Elementary Math Instruction



As an elementary school teacher, I know how important it is to teach math concepts in a way that engages students and helps them understand the material. One tool that I have found to be incredibly effective in teaching math is the use of tens frames. In this blog post, I will explain what tens frames are, how they can be used to teach math, and how Kids Freeze Dance can help reinforce math concepts through purposeful movement.


Math is a critical subject for children to learn, and as educators, it is our job to find ways to teach math concepts effectively. Tens frames are a powerful tool that can be used to teach math in a way that engages students and helps them understand the material.


What are Tens Frames?


Tens frames are rectangular grids that have 10 spaces, arranged in two rows of five. These frames are used to help students understand numbers, counting, and place value. Tens frames can be used for addition and subtraction, as well as for understanding the relationship between numbers and quantities.


How to Teach with Tens Frames


When teaching with tens frames, it is important to start with the basics. Here are some tips and strategies for effective instruction:

  • Start by introducing the concept of tens frames and explaining how they work

  • Use manipulatives to help students understand the structure of tens frames

  • Encourage students to use their fingers to help them count and represent numbers on the tens frame

  • Use visuals and hands-on activities to help reinforce the concept of place value

  • Incorporate movement and games into your instruction to keep students engaged and interested

At Kids Freeze Dance, we take this approach a step further by mixing purposeful movement with math concepts. Our videos use tens frames mixed with movement to keep kids engaged and help retain what they learn through purposeful movement.




How Tens Frames Help Students


Using tens frames in math instruction has many benefits for students. Here are a few ways that tens frames can help students:

  • Tens frames help students visualize numbers and understand their relationship to one another

  • Tens frames help students develop number sense and improve their ability to count

  • Tens frames help students understand the concept of place value and how numbers are constructed

  • Tens frames can be used to teach addition and subtraction, as well as more advanced concepts like multiplication and division

Tens Frames and Place Value


Tens frames are an excellent tool for teaching place value. Here are some examples of how tens frames can be used to teach place value:

  • Start by having students use manipulatives to represent numbers on the tens frame

  • Help students understand the concept of a "ten" by filling in one row of the tens frame

  • Show students how to add a second row to represent numbers greater than 10

  • Use the tens frame to represent two-digit numbers and reinforce the concept of place value

Showing Numbers on a Tens Frame


Showing numbers on a tens frame is easy and can be done in a variety of ways. Here are some examples of how to show numbers on a tens frame:

  • Use manipulatives like counters or small toys to represent numbers on the tens frame

  • Draw dots or circles on the tens frame to represent the number

  • Use your fingers to represent numbers on the tens frame

Final Thoughts


Tens frames are a powerful tool for teaching math concepts to elementary school students. They help students visualize numbers, understand place value, and develop number sense. By incorporating movement and games, we can keep students engaged and interested in math concepts. If you're looking for a fun and engaging way to reinforce math concepts at home or in the classroom, check out KidsFreezeDance.com for thousands of content themed videos that you can use to help support your lessons!






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