Five frames are graphic organisers that help children to visualise what they need to make a set of 5 . Mental Maths is something that we have made a priority in my school. After mid-term I will be using my 5 frames as revision and consolidation of Junior Infant adding to help my class become competent and confident at picturing numbers in their head.  I can’t wait!

Children who count using their fingers are doing so because they do not have a good mental concept for number and are using something concrete, their fingers, to help them work out maths equations.

Our number system places a huge emphasis on “10”. Since  5 is half of 10 it is also an important bench mark and a very important step in the evolution of mathematical knowledge.

5  frames help children:

• keep track of counting
• develop one correspondence between oral counting and actual counters eg when I say “one” I place “one counter down”  or by adding up counters through touching one counter for each number you count out orally
• when the frames are inverted to create two upright columns  the concept of odd and even numbers is very clear

How to use 5 :

Print out a set of 5 Frame Boards. Use coins or buttons as counters. What about Cheerios or smarties for some yummy, yummy counters!!!

Explain the following :

• only one counter is allowed in each space
• counters are placed on the mat in the ” reading & writing direction”(left to right)

Different ways to play & learn:

This is how it works!  Have a look at this frame.

What number is depicted?!

It visually depicts the number 3.

What can we tell by looking at this number frame?

We can clearly and easily see that…

This is 3

That 3 and 2 more would give 5

Number recognition or The 5 Frame Flash:                                                                         Flash 5 Frame Cards at your child in a random order and ask him/her to call out what number it is.

• What number is this? Encourage your child to answer this by visually counting rather than touching.
• By just looking how many more counters would we need to make 5?
• Now count this out using your counters and see if you get the same answer.

• What would one more than this number make?
• What would one less than this number make?
• What would 2 more make?
• What would 2 less make?

Adding to 5 with a blank 5 Frame Card:

Give your child a blank 5 Frame card.

•  Call out a sum eg 2 + 2=.
• Have your child place 2 counters on the board.
• Check the answer using counters

After lots and lots and lots of practice you can encourage children to just glance at the card and to the rest in their heads. Show then a card eg 2 frame. Ask them to picture if in their heads.  Now ask the same kind of questions…How many more would make 5? What would one more make?

I have created a number of different format 5 frame cards for you to download and use!

I have also created large format cards with only one frame per page. I will upload this PDF to my Interactive Whiteboard to help demonstrate and discuss number.