Decomposing Dance

Sarah Downing

Lesson Goals

Students will be able to decompose numbers in to tens and ones.

Students will represent the decomposition of teen numbers through dance.


Counting Stick (optional)
White Board/SmartBoard


1. Introduce decomposing teen numbers into tens and ones.
2. Explain to students that we are going to be dancing to music.
3. All students will be safely moving/dancing along pathways in the room as the music plays.
4. When the music stops, students will freeze in a shape of their choice.
5. One student will take the counting stick and count out 10 students.
6. If a student is touched on the shoulder with the counting stick they will change their level and sit on the ground. Other students will stay standing, frozen in their shape.
7. The student counting will say how many students she counted.
8. Are there enough students left standing to make another group of 10? Any student can count and answer. (If you have more than 19 students, pick a certain number for them to create and have that many students dancing and freezing. The choose another number and rotate the students that were observing in.)
9. After seeing there are not enough to make another group of 10, they will identify the students left standing as “extra ones” and the students sitting down as one group of 10.
10. As a class, we will come up with the teen number we created.
11. Lastly we will create an equation to represent our dance.
12. Repeat as appropriate.

Differentiation Approaches

1. Students can observe first before participating.
2. Keep students active.
3. Model each step.


Students will be assessed formatively through observation and questioning.

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

1. Students can draw a representation of the tens and ones that create the teen number.
2. Students can create a word problem/story to explain the equation made from the composition/decomposition.

Additional Details

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