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Today we are looking at making pairs to 10!


Over the next two days we are going to be looking at making pairs to 10.  You may be thinking that your child can add two numbers together within 10 and that this is not a challenge for them, however making pairs to 10 is a different skill and one that forms the foundations for many numeracy lessons to come throughout the next few years. 


Making pairs to ten is about children seeing the mathematical patterns. This will aid mental addition and quick application and recall when learnt. Your child may not see more than one pattern in making pairs to ten at this stage, however they may spot these independently or be ready for a further challenge. 


The first pattern relates to how they can find ten which we will be focusing on today. Using their fingers...if they hold 7 fingers up (one group) that they will see 3 fingers are down (second group), but put all the fingers up then they make ten.  Whatever combination of fingers up and down they make it will make ten, as long as they have ten fingers and thumbs on their hands. This also then works with a group of ten objects. You can split them up but when put together they will always make ten. 


The second pattern is that 7+3=10 and that when the first two numbers are swapped to 3+7 that it still makes ten. We are becoming number jugglers! This is what we will be looking at tomorrow.


The third pattern that some children may be ready to spot is that when they are all listed together that one side the number gets bigger and the other side the number gets smaller...














Today's activity...

We would like you to find a set of ten objects to use for this activity. You can use toys, pasta pieces, cereal pieces, jewellery, counters, cutlery, or superhero puppets (templates for superhero stick puppets are supplied below if you would like to make these for use in this activity, independent play and as a craft activity to keep your little ones occupied for a few minutes calm!). If you have hula hoops, or masking tape that you can tack down on the floor to make two shapes, or large plates for example, where children can clearly put the items in two groups that would be a great aid for your child also. 


Count with your child how many there are altogether. Explain that you aren't adding or taking any away and that there will always be ten today. 


Explain that today's superhero mission is to find different ways to make ten. You will need to model this first by splitting the ten items into two groups - eg. seven in one group and three in the other. Model counting how many are in each group and then talk it through as a number sentence by saying out loud "seven add three makes/equals ten". Together you can then have a go at matching the right number sentence from the matching pairs cards (uploaded below) which in this case would be 7+3=10.  If your child chooses 3+7=10 then you can explore the idea of number juggling and swapping the groups over to make this number sentence.  Now challenge your child to do this independently and see if they can find their own ways to make ten and manage to use all the mission 'pairs to 10' cards.

Top tip! Hide the number cards each time they try to split the objects into two groups so that the children try to work it out for themselves without following the number sentences.


Need a stepping stone?

First of all keep your counting resource simple so that your child doesn't become distracted and the temptation to burst into play or a different kind is averted! Similarly, if your child isn't very engaged then use something that they are motivated by - sweets, grapes, leftover Christmas chocolate maybe?! 

Instead of getting your child to explore different ways to make ten independently, you can use the different 'pairs to 10' as an instruction. Ask your child to make the pairs by following what each pair card says. You can then follow the rest of the the activity above by talking through the number sentences.  After doing a few this way you may find that they pick up the pattern of it all and you can challenge your child to do the activity without the mission cards as a guide. 


Need a further challenge?

Instead of giving your child the pairs cards to match to what they have made, ask them to write their own number sentences for their pairs. They need to ensure that the addition and equals sign are written both correctly and in the right places. Don't forget number formation too!