Sums of 10 Math Game

Math Games- Sums of 10

We have been working on building our conceptual understanding and fact fluency through games. The first game I introduced to my students is called Sums of 10. This game encourages students to explore the number combinations that make a sum of 10.


1 deck of cards

sums of 10 work mat

Before play: remove all the jacks, queens, kings, and jokers. (I do this prior and have the needed cards ready in a zip top bag)

Players: work in pairs, or for a quicker game work in groups of 3 or 4

Play game:

  1. shuffle cards
  2. deal out all cards to players
  3. on each player’s turn lay down a card on the work mat that makes a sum of 10
  4. if you cannot make a sum of 10 match then you lose a turn
  5. game is over when first player gets rid of all their cards

When I introduce a new game to the class I  do so by playing the game against the class under the document camera. After a brief explanation of the rules and some modeling I give the entire class the opportunity to play the game with a partner. Only after my students are well-versed in playing the game do I put it in my math rotation as a center.

I just love hearing my students discuss strategies and number relationships while they play the game. The class has been playing this game for 2 weeks so now the students will reflect on the game in their math journals about the skills they have practiced and the strategies they used while playing the game.

sums of 10

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Mini Light Box in the Classroom

light box

light box

What is a Light Box you ask?

It’s a flat box with a side of  plastic and an electric light that provides an evenly lighted flat surface or even illumination.

It took me a year but I finally bought a Light Box to use in my classroom! I found mine at Big Lots. It was only $8! It’s a mini that measures 8″x 6″ and has two inserts and runs on 4 AA batteries.  I’m going to hang it in my classroom library with  a couple of 3M hooks.

light box
LED Letter Sign from Big Lots

I’ve read a lot of different blog posts about others creating their own Light Box inserts using transparencies. So I got to thinking…hmmm…I wonder if I could just print them on multipurpose copy paper?

light box
Light Box inserts printed on copy paper

Guess what? You can! So now you know if you don’t have any transparencies handy you can just use computer copy paper. I think it looks great too!

How will I use it?

I plan on putting cute inspirational messages, growth mindset posters, and insert fun holiday posters into it.  Emily from The Literacy Nest had an awesome idea to make phonogram templates to place in her Heidi Swapp Light Box.  You can read her post about it here.

I can even use the light during my Guided Math, Guided Reading, and Writing Conference times too. It will be a great visual tool for my students. If the light is on it will indicate that I’m busy working with a group; if the light is off then I’m free to help answer questions.

Is is your mind racing with ideas like mine is now? Then you should run out and buy your own at Big Lots and download my mini insert freebies below and let your light shine.

light box

light box

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