Ten Frame Challenge

Directions: I have a horizontal ten-frame that has some counters on it. One row of the frame is full and one is not. What is the largest number I could make? What is the smallest number I could make?


Start by filling in one row of your ten frame with counters.
What does it mean to be the smallest number if one row of the ten frames is full and one is not?


Smallest number = 5
Largest number = 9

Source: Elizabeth Brandenburg

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Adding and Subtracting Within 10

Directions: Using the digits 1 to 9 at most one time each, place a digit …


  1. Should the largest number be 9? One of the rows in the ten frame is not full, so that means you can’t have the full ten frame filled, correct?

  2. I agree that the answer should be between 5 and 9, so I’ve updated the answer.

    • Even though it’s probably clear, I also added the word “horizontal” to make it clear how the ten frame is oriented.

      • wouldn’t it be 6 to 9 as you say the second row is not full.If it isn’t full doesn’t it have to have a least one in the second to not be full? Otherwise we would specify that it has nothing?

  3. TRG
    I agree given it says it is not full, does imply that there is some present.

  4. Casandra Hargraves

    5 and 9

  5. The biggest number is 5. The smallest number is 9.

  6. I messed up. I ment the other way.

    The biggest number is 9
    The smallest number is 5.

  7. Also, I liked this lesson. 🙂 😉

  8. Yes, this lesson is good for younger kids, to learn how to use the ten frame or the “Ten Frame Challenge” as you called it.

  9. I believe it is 9.
    X X X X X
    X X X X 0

  10. You can have the maximum o.f 9 or a minimum of 5.

  11. Shannon Wellsteed

    I believe the answer will be between 5 and 9. A tens frame can only hold ten dots and only one side is full so that would lead me to believe the smallest would be the full side at 5 and 9 at the most because one more would make both sides full.

  12. Knowing that a ten frame has two rows of five, the largest possible number is nine. The first row is full (5) while the second row is not (4 at the most). 5+4=9

    The smallest possible number is 5. The first row is full (5) while the second row is not (smallest number is zero). 5+0=5

  13. The smallest number is 5 and the largest number would be 9.

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