Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson, Lesson Plan
Lower Primary
  • Add
  • Cl7Lesson
  • Cluster 7
  • Compose
  • Composing
  • Decompose
  • Decomposing
  • Place Value
  • Subtract
  • Teen Numbers
  • Unit 7
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Education Standards

    T4T Ring Around the Tens


    This resource is from Tools4NCTeachers.

    This lesson calls for students to organize a group of objects into ten ones and some extra ones. They will develop an understanding of how ten ones and some extra ones can be combined to make a total. Students will count on from ten to determine how many there are all together in a group.


    Here is an excerpt from the lesson.  The view the entire, fully-formatted lesson, click the attachment.



    Ring Around the Tens



    This lesson calls for students to organize a group of objects into ten ones and some extra ones. They will develop an understanding of how ten ones and some extra ones can be combined to make a total. Students will count on from ten to determine how many there are all together in a group.



    Common Core Standard:

    Build foundation for place value.

    NC.K.NBT.1 Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones by:

    • Using objects or drawings.
    • Recording each composition or decomposition by a drawing or expression.
    • Understanding that these numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.


    Additional/Supporting Standard(s):

    Count to tell the number of objects.

    K.CC.2 Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence, instead of having to begin at 1.

    K.CC.4 Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities.

    • When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object (one-to-one correspondence).
    • Recognize that the last number named tells the number of objects counted regardless of their arrangement (cardinality).
    • State the number of objects in a group, of up to 5 objects, without counting the objects (perceptual subitizing).

    K.CC.5 Count to answer “How many?” in the following situations:

    • Given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
    • Given up to 20 objects, name the next successive number when an object is added, recognizing the quantity is one more/greater.
    • Given 20 objects arranged in a line, a rectangular array, and a circle, identify how many.
    • Given 10 objects in a scattered arrangement, identify how many


    Standards for Mathematical Practice:

    1.   Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

    1. Model with mathematics.
    2. Use appropriate tools strategically.
    3. Attend to precision.
    4. Look for and make use of structure.


    Student Outcomes:

      • I can organize a group of objects into ten ones and some extra ones.
      • I can understand how ten ones and some extra ones can be combined to make a total.
      • I can count on from a starting point of ten to determine how many there are all together in a group.
      • I can describe how teen numbers are composed of ten ones and extra ones.


    Per pair of students

      • 1 bag of 11-19 items
      • Pre-counted groups of 19 objects in cups (ex: 19 buttons in a cup, 19 bears in a cup, 19 beans in a cup, 19 counters in a cup, etc.)

    Teacher’s note: to stay focused on creating a group of ten ones and not create a ten avoid using connecting manipulatives like snap cubes.

      • Piece of string long enough to encircle ten of your selected objects

    Advance Preparation:

      • Prepare a list of possible student pairings.
      • Gather materials listed above for modeling and practice.


    Previous Lessons:

      • Students are familiar with building teen numbers using ten frames to create a group of ten ones and some extra ones.
      • Students can count with one-to-one correspondence.
      • Students can identify how many are in a group of ten and how many extra ones they have when composing a teen number.



    1. Gather students on the carpet
    2. Present students with the following situation: I am going to give you a bag of objects. You need to determine how many objects are inside the bag and at least two ways to find how many.
    3. Pass out one bag of objects per pair. Have students return to work spaces and proceed to count the objects using at least two strategies.
      • Teacher should be looking for students to create a group of ten ones and some extra ones based on exposure from previous ten frame lessons. While monitoring look for students who can model this strategy for sharing.
      • Students can also count by ones or use other counting strategies.
    4. When two to three minutes have passed, have students leave their materials at their work spaces and return to the carpet.
    5. Select students to model/explain how they counted their group of objects. Modeling can be done on board/SMART board/overhead/in the middle of the group with objects, etc.
    6. After a few students share, ask the listening students to restate what strategies were used.
    7. Tell students that you have a new strategy to show them. This strategy will involve “ringing” the group of ten as you make a teen number.
    8. Take a bag of objects. Tell students that in order to figure out how many objects are in the bag you are going to make a group of ten ones and a group with the extra ones.
      • Make a ring with the yarn.
      • Model counting out ten ones and placing it inside the “ring” of yarn. Review that this is a group of ten ones (Can model how to arrange manipulatives into grouping similar to a ten frame).
      • Place any extra ones outside the ring of yarn.
      • Have students count how many are in the ring, how many are outside the ring, and how many there are all together.


    1. Give each pair a piece of the yarn. Have students return to their previous work spaces/materials in two to three minutes reorganize their manipulatives using the new “ringing” strategy.
    2. After the quick practice, have students clean up materials and return to carpet.
    3. Tell students that they will play the “ringing” game with their partner.

    First model: teacher and a student partner; Second model: two students, repeat if needed.

    Step 1. Partner 1 takes two (one-handed) handfuls out of the cup of manipulatives and places them in front of Partner 2.

    Step 2. Partner 2 then uses the yarn to organize/ring the manipulatives into a group of ten ones and some extra ones.

    Step 3.  Partner 1 then rechecks Partner 2’s work and answer.

    Step 4. Partner 1 returns manipulatives to the cup and passes the cup to Partner 2.

    Step 5.  Students switch roles and continue.

    1. Give each pair a piece of yarn and a cup of manipulatives. Students return to work space and place the ringing game for seven to ten minutes.
    1. Teacher note: While students are playing the game, the teacher is circulating and making note of students’ abilities and strategies.
    2. While observing, identify pairs who can share when the class is brought back together. Decide the order for pairs to share with the group based on use of strategies.
    1. Students clean up materials and return to the carpet. Have preselected pairs share how they counted and organized their group of manipulatives.


    Questions to Pose:

    Before: (with the initial bag task)

      • When counting a group of objects what strategies can I use?

    During: (with the ringing game)

      • Explain how many (beans, bears, etc.) are in your ring?
      • Explain why there are (beans, etc.) outside your ring
      • How does ringing the group of ten ones help us find the total?


      • Explain your procedure for counting your group of objects.


    Possible Misconceptions/Suggestions:


    Possible Misconceptions


    If students place more than ten objects inside the ring

    • Return to the use of a ten frame to continue practicing organizing a group of ten ones to confirm an understanding of the quantity of the collection.
    • On an individual basis revisit the importance of identifying groups of ten ones while counting larger sets of objects—practice with student as needed

    When students do not include all objects that are outside the ring in their count. (example: There are four ones outside the ring. Teacher asks, “How many are outside the ring?” Student replies two. )

    • Help students to group manipulatives outside of the ring together to encourage students to count all manipulatives outside of the ring.


    Special Notes:

      • This task may require multiple exposures in order to facilitate complete understanding.
      • Use this lesson after students have had experiences with grouping teen numbers using a ten frame to show teen numbers as ten ones and some extra ones.
      • Extension: repeat lesson and have students record their findings on    inside the ring           outside  the ring

    a T-chart.  Label one side of the chart as “Inside the ring” and label the other side as “Outside the ring”. In either whole group or in pairs, students then write the corresponding numeral.