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Up through ten

A bead string is an excellent linear representation for developing the up-through-ten strategy.

Clearly mark the decades on the bead string and arrange the beads in sets of five. This supports non-counting-by-one strategies. Knowing the number facts for the counting numbers to 10 is essential. You can watch the Up-Through-Ten video.


You can download the Up-Through-Ten video transcript.


Up-through-ten strategies can be practised using the learning object L91 The part-adder: make your own easy sums.

This object uses a continuous model with the ones grouped within each bar.


Problem is 28 plus 7, broken into 28 plus 2 plus 5 to equal 35.

Screen grab from L91 The part-adder: make your own easy sums.
Source: © Education Services Australia, 2011.


Highlight the characteristics of problems where the up-through-ten strategy is or is not needed.

For example, 8 + 6 = ? is suitable as only two more are required to make up to the next decade. However, 6 + 5 is not suitable and is more appropriately solved using other strategies like near doubles.

These ideas are further explored in Number Facts: Addition and Subtraction and Place Value.

Curriculum links

Year 2: Solve simple addition and subtraction problems using a range of efficient mental and written strategies

Year 3: Recall addition facts for single-digit numbers and related subtraction facts to develop increasingly efficient mental strategies for computation