Adding and Subtracting Tens Activities for Kids

Grade Levels: K-3

In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about adding and subtracting tens. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Adding and Subtracting Tens topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Adding and Subtracting Tens

10 More, 10 Less

Give individual students or pairs a hundred chart. Then call out a number and have student volunteers say the number that is 10 more or 10 less than the number. You may wish to start with tens first (10, 20, 30, 40, etc.) and then move on to numbers with values in the ones place, such as 11, 29, 36, etc.) Next have students call out their own numbers and have their classmates or partners name the numbers that are 10 more or 10 less. Make sure students check over each other’s answers. You can repeat the activity with 9 more or 9 less and 11 more or 11 less.

Secret Number

Tell your students that you have a secret number. Then give them clues to help them guess your number, such as “This number is 11 more than 30. It is also 9 less than 50.” You may want to give students a hundred chart to help them solve. Then have student volunteers give clues about their secret number and have classmates guess.

Ones, Tens, Hundreds, Thousands

Remind students that to solve 30 + 50 they can use the number sentence 3 + 5. Challenge them to solve sentences with larger numbers such as 3,000 + 5,000. You can challenge them further by presenting number sentences such as 60,000 + 11,000. Encourage children to use the facts they know and the strategies of adding and subtracting ten to help them solve the number sentences.

Family and Homeschool Activities for Adding and Subtracting Tens

Packs of Ten
Together with your child, fill plastic baggies with ten small items, such as paper clips, beans, or crayons. Skip-count the objects in your packs together. Then add or subtract items and have your child find the sum or difference for each bag. If you add or take away one object from a bag, you can practice adding and subtracting 9 and 11. Be sure to write down number sentences to show how you added and subtracted.

Missing Number
Practice algebraic thinking with your child by having him or her identify the missing number in an equation. For example, write the number sentence 40 + ___ = 50 or ___- 20 = 30 and have your child solve. He or she may want to use a hundred chart, base-ten blocks, or counters to help find the missing number. Then have your child write his or her own missing number problems for you to solve. This may be easier if your child writes a full number sentence and then erases one of the addends. Have your child check over your work. You may want to give an incorrect answer and have your child explain how to find the correct answer.

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