Make 10 (Bridging)

Make Ten is a key strategy for any addition facts with an 8 or a 9. We want students to think “How many more are needed to make 10?” and then “How many are left over?”

For example: 8 + 7

How many more are needed to make 10? 2!

If the 2 is taken from the 7, how many are left over? 5!

So, 8 + 7 is 10 + 5, or 15.

Key subskills are knowing how many more are needed to make 10 (bonds of 10), and how much is left after that step (-1 or -2). The near numbers one less and two less should be practiced using ten frames and dot plates. The near number page also has other strategies.

One way to help students record their thinking is to use branch diagrams to show how they partitioned the numbers. This can also support work done in grade 2 for partitioning multidigit numbers to add.

This ability is also used in later years for multi digit computations, such as 28 + 7. It forms a key subskill in developing jump strategies for performing multidigit addition and subtraction.


Make 10 Flash Cards
These cards show two ten frames. They are filled in with bingo dabbers or dot stickers to show facts, such as 9+8, where the make 10 strategy is efficient. Full instructions are on the first page.
Make 10 Slider Cards
These cards are much like the flash cards above. However, after mentally moving the dots to make a full ten frame, the inside slides out showing the conversion to a +10 fact. Contributed by Sherrie Hearn-Smith.
Bridging Scaffold Sheets
This sheet helps students split the second addend to build to 10. Example included on first page.



  1. […] learned a new strategy called “Make Ten””. This strategy works best when we are adding number sentences that have 8 or 9 in the equation. […]

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