March is Rainbow season! I love figuring out how to incorporate rainbow fun into our homeschool. For my kindergartner, who loves rainbows, I decided to make a rainbow as a learning project for remembering the ten bonds for early math skills! This fun rainbow math craft takes very little time but it creates a physical item that solidifies the concept of ten bonds.

## The Importance of Learning Ten Bonds

A basic concept of early mathematics is adding. One of the first basic facts to learning, beyond counting by ones, is the basics of adding to ten. Once you can add to ten, you can comprehend place value. Addition at higher levels comes easier. The base ten of our decimal-based culture is essential to recognize.

Learning to add up to ten is thus an essential concept to learn. One way to remember the concept is the recognize the patterns that help you get to ten. For example, 5+5 is always ten. But then, so is 4+6, 3+7, and 2+8. It's easy to remember 1+9 and 10+0.

The communicative probably is also essential. If a student knows 4+6 is ten but fails to quickly recognize that 6+4 is also ten, the mathematical work slows as he or she again calculates it. Recognizing both sides of the ten bond is super important for fluency in working with math for years to come.

To help a student be fluent in these concepts, teachers focus on the numbers that "bond" together to form ten. When students recognize these quickly, all the following concepts will follow much easier.

## Making a Ten Bonds "Rainbow"

To make a ten bonds rainbow, you need paper in the colors of the rainbow, scissors, two white paper plates, and a stapler or glue.

The first step is to cut out the strips of each color of paper. Rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) should dictate how long each strip should be. The purple strip should be shortest, and the red can be the full length of the paper. Write the ten bonds on the strips: 0--10, 1--9, 2--8, 3--7, 4--6, 5--5).

Once the strips are ready, start with the bottom-most and shortest bond (5+5, in the purple). Hold the paper plates rather close to each other. Then, staple or securely glue the two sides of the 5-5 bond onto the bottom edges of the two "cloud" paper plates. It should have an arch to it.

Then, slightly higher on the plate, attach the blue (4--6) and so forth until you get to the red strip. By the red strip, your arch should show multiple layers, with the ten bonds on the edges.

Want more practice with learning the number ten bonds? My St. Patrick's Day Number 10 Bonds includes a printable rainbow with the ten bonds, as well as a dozen worksheets for practicing making ten, including mazes color by number, and more. You can purchase this at my Shop or at TeachersPayTeachers.