Ten Terrific Frames

Posted in Inspiration & Ideas

Doesn’t it feel fantastic when you find a really simple idea that works brilliantly?

The resource I’m excited about is the humble, but powerful, ten frame.

My training is always evolving as I research, read and try out new ideas. In recent times I have become more and more focused upon the importance of pattern in underpinning a child’s ability to understand and use number; developing true ‘Number Sense’. 

My reading revealed a resource which now dominates my training and one which has completely transformed my understanding of how children can learn a huge number of essential numerical skills including:

  • Seeing and understanding number relationships
  • Noticing how numbers increase and reduce
  • Seeing numbers in numbers (part/part concept)
  • Understanding that numbers within numbers are parts of a whole (part/whole concept – fractions)
  • Working with clear understanding base 10 and place value
  • Calculating efficiently using number facts and relationships
  • Multiplying numbers efficiently
  • Linking spoken, written and pictorial images of number
  • Linking algebraic symbols (+ – = etc.) to calculation ‘stories’ from real to maths world

The list goes on…it’s incredibly exciting.

Such a simple resource, but, when used well, incredibly powerful across the early stages of learning in the EYFS and Key Stage 1 but also right up to and beyond Key Stage 2.

Subject Knowledge and Background:

Like everything, it’s essential to do some research first. I’d recommend Jessica Shumways’s excellent ‘Number Sense Routines’ as a great source of both information and activities.

Idea 1: A key source of inspiration for me is ‘Pinterest’.

The man images posted generate so many ideas and develop our understanding of the power of the patterns. Take a look for yourself.  More to come….

ten-frame-bingo ten-frame-dabbers1 ten_frame_spiders


  • Lorraine Claridge says:

    Hi Karen

    Following the EYFS and KS1 training I have had a fun week building and measuring with the Cuisenaire. The children grasped the concept apart from taking pictures of their own faces as well as standing next to different objects around the classroom……but that reception for you. Thank you I left the course inspired. Greater than and less than this week!!!

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    Thank you so much Karen. I enjoyed the training this morning tremendously and tried out the ideas straight after lunch with my class leading to 20 mins of enthusiastic discussion! Brilliant!

    The children said they really enjoyed it and wanted to do more so I am definitely going to be changing my teaching!’

  • Thank you for showing us HOW to change. So many courses just tell us what isn't working but not how to go about addressing this. Your approaches make so much sense! Thank you.

  • Just to say thank you again for 3 really brilliant talks at SGIS. We're a small school near Basel and we’d be interested in anything you’re doing nearby (Zurich way) so please let us know!