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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
Math partner games are a great way to build collaboration in your classroom, and these fun ten frames Thanksgiving activities for kindergarten have multiple uses to get students working together.
Ask any professional who uses math in the workplace and they’ll tell you that math is a collaborative adventure. It makes sense therefore to begin this teamwork approach in school so that students are encouraged to share their thinking and build their social skills by helping and listening to each other.
Teaching With Ten Frames
Ten frames have seen a dramatic rise in popularity in recent years as they bridge the gap between students counting individual objects and being able to subitize (recognize a group of objects as a certain number). While using number flashcards is a great way for students to recognize how each number is represented on ten frames, this ten frame printable gives you a full Thanksgiving themed set to use in a variety of math partner games.
Preparing Your Ten Frame Printable
For this activity you will need:
For a series of Thanksgiving activities for kindergarten, these number flashcards are simple to prepare – just download and print a set for each student. It’s a good idea to get 4 or even 6 to a page so the cards can be used as a small deck.
5 Math Partner Games Using Ten Frames
Once students have filled out this ten frame printable worksheet, you can build in some collaborative math work with these games:
War – both students need their set of ten frames face down in a deck. At the same time, both partners turn over a card and announce the number that is shown. The card with the highest value takes both cards. In a tie, both students return the card to the bottom of their deck.
Memory – have both partners bring their sets together and place all 20 cards face down. Students then take it in turns to turn over two cards to find a match. Have them read out the numbers they turn over as extra practice.
One more, one less – building flexibility with numbers is an essential kindergarten skill, so have your students work together to talk about one more and one less. Have one student pick a card in secret and announce the number and the words “one more” or “one less”. Their partner has to find the card that satisfies the equation.
Combination – this activity helps students practice counting and single digit addition. Start with each student’s cards in a deck face down, then have both turn over their cards. The students work together to add together both numbers. For a simple extension, have them record the equations that they discussed and for further work, have them keep all 10 equations and have them put them in size order of their solution.
Number bonds – learning the pairs of numbers needed to make 10 is an essential skill as students move towards formal equations for addition. Have one student turn over a card and the other student has to say or show the number that would be needed to make 10. For an extra challenge, time the partners to see how quickly they can complete this task and then have them beat their time.