The Power of Ten approach to teaching Elementary Math, originated by Trevor Calkins, is designed to help students really understand number concepts and operations. The following activities and games can be used to support teaching that uses the Power of Ten.
1. Students can use egg cartons with unifix block or bingo chips to see how the ten frames get filled (always starting from the bottom left and going upwards). The egg cartons must have 2 compartments cut off the end and should be referred to as "10 frames". These egg carton 10 frames can also be used when beginning adding and subtracting so student understand the Power of Ten concept in a physical way. I began using ten frames with a game where I called out a number and the student saw how quickly they could make that number in the ten frames (filling the frame from the bottom left).
2. There are many games that can be played using the Power of Ten cards. At the Grade One level, the best games are concentration (memory), go fish, and face-off (war). After students have mastered these games, an adding and then a subtracting game can be taught. These games are explained fully in the Power of Ten, yellow, coil-bound book which is available on the Power of Ten website.
3. A game that can be played with the large teaching set of the Power of Ten cards involves handing the 10 cards out to 10 students and asking them to see how fast they can line themselves up in order. After students are good at 1-10, the teacher can try the teen numbers using two cards (10 +1, 10+2...). Students really enjoy these two games.
4. A physical way to teach counting by tens, which I learned at the Trevor Calkins workshop, involves having the students stand and jumps (10, 20, 30 ...) - counting by ten for ten toes. Students participate enthusiastically in this game. I have also tried an adaptation where we hop on one foot and count by fives. This activity also works well. Students can be asked to count by 5’s to 50 or to 100, depending on how much energy they seem to have on a given day. These two activities are excellent for children who tend to be inattentive and very active.
Games and activities are very important when teaching Math because it is by doing, through repeated practice, that children learn.