During this school year, students have learned to represent numbers using a variety of strategies, including counters, tally marks, number lines and tens frames. Ten frames are a great way to not only help students represent numbers but also help them compare numbers.

Attached is a short video that shows how a teacher uses ten frames and magnets to help students visualize numbers. This idea can be modified as students begin to compare numbers.

As students visualize the numbers on the tens frame you can begin to ask questions about the way the numbers are represented.

For example, you might flash the following image and ask, “Which row has a greater amount? How do you know?

Posing questions like this on a regular basis encourages students to focus on number representations which will be helpful later in the year as they learn about number combinations and connect that to addition and subtraction.