I've recently pulled them out again to use when I'm working with a small group of kiddos who are finding our Number Talks quite challenging. The strategies being used by the other children in the class are hard for them to follow, even when I model what is happening using magnetic base 10 materials.
So while the rest of the class was busy working on graphing, this small group and I pulled out our 10 frames and cubes and got to work. I used an early sequence of number talks (e.g. 3 + 3, then 3 + 4, then 3 + 5) - I got them to solve the equations mentally, and then check their answer using their 10 frame.
They handled this well, so the next time, we worked on combinations for 10. We began with 5 + 5 (each child had 5 yellow cubes in a row, with 5 black cubes underneath). We then changed one black cube for a yellow cube at a time, until we'd found all of the 'friends of 10'. One of my little girls told me afterwards, 'This really helps me!'.
They've been doing so well with the 10 frame support, that I wanted to move into slightly larger numbers. I know I had double 10 frame mats, but I think I loaned them to someone and they haven't been returned. Of course, with my organisational skills, it's quite possible that I've just misplaced them! I don't want to make false accusations, so I decided to just make new mats for myself. The ones I was using were Christmas-themed anyway, and I think I prefer these winter themed one - they are a bit more generic, so I won't feel silly still using them in January and February!
Click on the picture above to download the file, if you think you might like to use these in your own class. And please do feel free to leave a comment with different ideas about how else these mats can be used!