Hands-On Addition for Making Ten

As educators, we all know the importance of math fact fluency, especially when it comes to basic addition and subtraction. I know from my first and second grade teaching experience that many students come to second grade or even end the year still wanting to count on their fingers. Engaging students in hands on addition activities is by far my favorite way to promote learning!

Hula Hoop Addition to 10 Activity

It’s our job as teachers to expose kids to multiple strategies that are going to help them develop and master their math fact fluency. In one of my other blog posts, 7 Strategies for Addition Fact Fluency, I dive into how to create a solid mathematical foundation for students.

Today, I’m going to share just one of those specific examples. Keep reading to learn how to create a super fun, hands-on activity for making 10 using simple supplies found at your local dollar store.

Hands-On Addition Activities

Hula Hoop Addition to 10 Activity

Ten is what we call a friendly number in the math world. What that means is that this number is easy to work with. It is simple to add or subtract with other numbers. We want students to have a strong grasp on sums of ten and be able to know them by memory. When students know combinations of ten, it helps them as they start learning more complex problems.

There are two hands-on activities that I LOVE to practice making 10! I demonstrate how to create each of these activities in my YouTube video for my audience.

The first activity is great for whole group instruction or review while the second one is ideal for small groups.

Hula Hoop Addition

The first hands-on addition activity is called Hula Hoop Addition. It’s super fun for students, affordable, and easy to make.

For this activity, all you’ll need is:

  • A Hula Hoop
  • A Pool Noodle
  • An index card

Step 1: Cut the pool noodle into 10 strips to attach to your hula hoop. Cut a slit in each strip so that it can easily slide onto the hula hoop.

Step 2: Take an index card and write the number 10 on it. Tape it to the bottom of your hula hoop.

Hula Hoop Addition to 10 Activity

Step 3: Come up with simple addition problems that students can solve for while using the pool noodles and hula hoop to manipulate (Slide the strips of pool noodle from side to side to solve for 10).

As you can tell, this is such an engaging and inexpensive way to get students involved when it comes to practicing math facts!

You can even do this activity with numbers smaller or larger than 10. Simply change out the notecard with a different number. If you are wanting to switch it up, don’t be afraid to also use it for subtraction.

Pipe Cleaner Addition

As you are modeling facts that equal ten on your large hula hoop, your students can do the exact same thing with their own miniature pipe cleanrt version while they are sitting at their desks or on the carpet.

For this activity, all you’ll need is:

  • A Pipe Cleaner
  • Beads
  • Masking Tape

Step 1: Take a pipe cleaner and form it into a circle.

Step 2: Place 10 beads on the circular pipe cleaner

Step 3: Twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together so that the circle stays in place. I like to use masking tape to hold it together. Write the number 10 on the piece of your tape.

As you can see this is just a smaller version of hula hoop addition!

Ways to make 10 activity using pipe cleaners and beads

Ways to Use These Hands-On Addition Activities

What I like about these activities is that students can do a lot of different things with it. For example, students can be placed into partners. Partner 1 can make a math fact and then have partner 2 use a piece of paper to write down the addition problem that their partner created. For example, if their partner had 4 beads on one side and 6 beads on the other side, they would write down 4+6=10.

You can use the hula hoop activity in your whole group mini lesson to model and have students take turns practicing as well. For example, you could write math facts on notecards (or use the math fact flashcards in my addition and subtraction unit). Students could take turns drawing a card and modeling the problem using the hula hoop.

I also like to take it one step farther and complete an interactive notebook activity. If you have my Addition and Subtraction Strategies Guided Math Unit for 2nd Grade, you already have this fun lesson! Students have to draw out the model that they made on their beaded bracelet. Underneath the flap, students write down the turn-around facts that represent what they created.

Ways to make 10 activity using pipe cleaners and beads

These are just a few of my favorite ways to really make learning enjoyable for students! Kids also love when the hula hoop activity is part of your station rotations so that could be something to consider doing as well. If you need a reminder how to make these activities be sure to watch my YouTube video below for all the details!

Be sure to pin the image below to save this post for later!

Hands-on addition to 10 activities using hula hoops and pipe cleaners
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