Add and subtract by making ten

Home learning focus

Learn how making 10 can be a useful strategy when solving addition and subtraction calculations.

This lesson includes:

  • one video
  • two activities


The video in today's lesson explains how you can work out a calculation by adding or subtracting to 10 first.

Snoot and Fin use bridging through ten to add and subtract shells at the beach.

How can adding by making 10 help?

Adding by making 10 is also called bridging through 10.

Here's what to do:

  • Work out what you need to add to your first number to make ten.

  • Take this from your second number. What do you have left?

  • Add what is left to 10. That's your answer!


7 + 4 = ?

Work out 7 + ? = 10.

The answer is 3.

Take this answer away from the second number in the calculation.

4 - 3 = 1

Add this answer on to 10.

10 + 1 = 11

So 7 + 4 = 11.


Activity 1

Worksheet 1 - Add by making 10

Print out this worksheet from Classroom Secrets and see if you can work out the answers to the questions by making 10 first.

Add by making 10

Activity 2

Have a go at this three-question quiz to put what you've practised into action.

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

KS1 Maths
BBC Bitesize Daily
Primary games
5 - 7 Maths
Game - Karate Cats Maths