Addition Strategy - Finding 20

A useful strategy in addition is being able to find a ten or twenty. Being flexible with numbers comes with practice and we've found providing a visual component to help students develop this confidence very helpful.
Addition Cards

Our Make Twenty and Make Ten cards are perfect to begin encouraging students to develop this bridging strategy. Students will look for combinations that easily make a ten or twenty to find the overall total more fluently.

To get ready:

  • print and laminate the cards
  • provide dry erase markers
  • ask students to look carefully at the visual number towers
  • ask students what they notice about the number towers - perhaps they can make matching ones with real equipment
Addition Strategy Bridging

To complete the activity:

  • students may notice in the example above, that the 14 and 6 build a 2o - if not, point it out to them
  • remind students that by quickly counting the 20, all they need to do is add the third tower to find the overall total - 28
  • ask students to link the 2 parts that make 20 with their dry erase marker too


  • more capable students make like to record directly to the worksheet without marking the actual activity/task card
Find the 20

Plenty of practice

  • students need to learn this strategy, then apply it to other mathematical tasks
  • loads of practice with activities like this one will help students integrate this strategy into their mathematical problem solving
Making 20

Find this printable resource in our store in 2 version: