Flexible additive strategies - Combinations to 10

This resource has been developed in partnership with the NSW Mathematics Strategy Professional Learning team, Curriculum Early Years and Primary Learners, and Literacy and Numeracy.

Using the resource

This resource is the first section of a four-part resource supporting additive thinking. Use this resource in conjunction with the other resources in this series in order to support a connected network of critical mathematical concepts, skills and understanding.

Supporting tasks

Full instructions on how to use each of these tasks- including materials, related tasks and learning intentions - are included in the resource, available for download on this page.

Task 1: Blocks on a bowl

Students use a container and five blocks to practice counting hidden items.

  • Variation 1: Use more than one cup or container

  • Variation 2: Adjust the quantity of blocks

Task 2: Let’s talk 4

Students watch the ‘Let’s talk 4' part 1 and part 2' videos using the questioning in the videos to guide student thinking.

Task 3: If you didn’t know

Students think of different strategies for addition without needing to count, including partitioning, using the commutative property, adjusting number using knowledge of equivalence and other known facts.

  • Variation 1: Students create problems that could be solved using a particular strategy

  • Variation 2: Investigate whether a particular strategy is as useful for addition as it is for subtraction

  • Variation 3: Make fact families using unifix cubes and record each related number fact, describing similarities and differences between each fact

  • Variation 4: Use dominoes record fact families

Task 4: 6 piles

Students using DoE playing cards 0-5 to make two or more cards equalling five.

  • Variation 1: Adapt the game to compose any quantity up to and including 10

  • Variation 2: Use any operation

  • Variation 3: Use the ace to represent eleven and adapt to game to find combinations to 20

Task 5: Turn over 3

Students watch the Turn over 3 video and use the Turn over 3 game board.

  • Variation 1: Play the game using subtraction

  • Variation 2: Look for combinations of 20

  • Variation 3: Play until the whole deck of cards is used

Task 6: Capture 10

Students watch the video ‘Capture 10’ to learn how to play.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Educational Standards
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