## You Got To Make Ten

copyright 1999 by Tim Griffin

(may be sung to the tune of You Can’t Hurry Love by Holland/Dozier/Holland)

You know some sums give me a real hard time

But there’s just one number that is oh so fine, my teacher said

(chorus) When you’re doing sums, you just got to make ten

It makes adding so easy when you move some some ones and start again

When you’re doing sums, you just got to make ten

You got to fill up one ten frame, then you add to the ten

(bridge) Oh, but how many ones must I combine

Before I find the magic number that’s been on my mind?

If I can move some ones to make a ten, you see

It makes the numbers add up so easily, like my teacher said

(chorus) When you’re doing sums, you just got to make ten

It makes adding so easy when you some ones and start again

When you’re doing sums, you just got to make ten

You got to fill up one ten frame, then you add to the ten, make ten!

You know eight plus nine that ain’t so easy

But just move one from the eight, that turns the nine into ten

Now it’s just seven plus ten, and that’s so easy

Oh addition is easy, you can make it so easy

(bridge) ‘Cause there’s too many sums for me to memorize

But I can move some ones to do the sums of larger size

If I just move some ones to fill up one ten frame

All those larger numbers, they all add up the same, like my teacher said

(chorus) When you’re doing sums, you just got to make ten

It makes adding so easy when you move some some ones and start again

When you’re doing sums, you just got to make ten

You got to fill up one ten frame, then you add to the ten

(repeat chorus and fade)

## Notes

I wrote this for my first-graders back when I was part of a pilot program to see if we could make Singapore Math work in a Los Angeles school. In two years we took a cohort that was performing at about the 35th percentile nationally to the 65th percentile using a program that cost significantly less money than our old math program. Then the district, in its wisdom, shut the program down and made us go back to the old textbooks; apparently the publisher of those books had an understanding with the district. But they couldn't make us stop using the Singapore methods, so we were able to keep outperforming the other schools in our area anyway.

If I had to sum up Singapore Math in just a few words, I'd say it's not about teaching kids to do harder math, but about learning some simple strategies for making hard math easier. One trick is to simplify addition for kindergartners and first graders by finding equivalent sums. Thus, 7+7=10+4, 7+9=6+10, and so on. It may feel a bit counterintuitive at first, but in my experience (and, more importantly, according to the data) it really does work. Although I know the Common Core has become something of a lightning rod, I am pleased to find that it draws heavily on the Singapore method.

At some point I need to either get permission to use the melody to "Can't Hurry Love," or make my own melody so I can record this.

Here are some standards from the Common Core addressed by this song:

**Kindergarten:**

- K.NBT. Work with numbers 11–19 to gain foundations for place value.
- K.NBT.1. Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 18 = 10 + 8); understand that these numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.
- MP.1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- MP.2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
- MP.5. Use appropriate tools strategically.

**First Grade:**

- 1.OA.6. Add and subtract within twenty, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within ten. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten; decomposing a number leading to a ten; using the relationship between addition and subtraction); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums.
- MP.1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- MP.2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
- MP.5. Use appropriate tools strategically.

**Second Grade:**

- 2.OA.2. Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By end of grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
- MP.1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- MP.2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
- MP.5. Use appropriate tools strategically.

**Chords:**

E, A, G#m, Cm, B, B7