7 Things to Do with a Hundred Chart

This post has been revised to incorporate all the suggestions in the comments below, plus many more activities. Please update your bookmarks:

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Are you looking for ways to unschool math? You and your children can learn a lot by playing around with a hundred chart (also called a hundred board). Here are a few ideas to get you started:

(1) Use it as a number line to do addition and subtraction beyond what your child can handle mentally. Develop mental math skills by showing how to add or subtract the tens first (counting up or down) then the ones (counting left or right.)

(2) Look for addition and subtraction patterns. 5+7=? Now go to 25+7, 35+7, 65+7. What do you notice? What do 13-6, 23-6, 53-6, etc. have in common? Find other patterns.

(3) Look for counting-by (multiplication) patterns. Colored disks are nice for this, or M&M’s, or simple pinto beans. Mark the numbers you hit when you count by 2. What pattern do they make? Make the counting-by-3 pattern, or the 8’s, or others. Some of these are really neat, and you may want to print several charts so you can color them in. Why does the counting-by-5 pattern look like it does?

(4) Count by whatever number you want, but start at an unusual place. Count by 5, starting at 13. Or count by 2, but start with 47. Or, as Lim Ee Hai suggested below, count down by the number of your choice.

(5) Mark the multiplication patterns by putting colored dots along one edge or corner of each square. (That is, all the multiples of 2 get a yellow dot, for instance, and the multiples of 3 get green ones…) Which numbers have the most dots? Which numbers have just one? Which don’t have any?

(6) Play a number bonds game. Take turns pointing to any number. The other player has to say how many more it takes to make 100.

(7) What number is 1/2 of 100? How do you know? What number is 3/4 of 100? Are you sure? How can you show it is true? (What does the fraction 3/4 mean? What does any fraction mean?) What other fractions of 100 can you find? 1/10? 2/5? Can you find a number that is 1/3 of 100?

I am sure there are other things to do, but that is all I can dig out of my gray cells right now. These ought to keep you busy for quite awhile, though.

13 thoughts on “7 Things to Do with a Hundred Chart

  1. Here are two more that I like:

    1) Give a number to start at and directions to move, and ask where you end up. Like: Start at 37. Go up 2 spaces, right 1, down 5, left 3. It’s fun for the kids if you write this in arrows like 37 ^ ^ -> v v v v v <- <- <- (imagine that ^ is an up arrow and v is a down arrow). After becoming familiar with the 100 chart, have them do these without the chart in front of them. I got this idea from Mental Math Computation Activities for Anytime — “Search Inside” for “secret number” and click on the link for p.21 for an example.

    2) Draw shapes that represent part of a 100 chart with only one or two numbers filled in, and have them complete the rest (without peeking). I got this idea from Mental Math Kids Can’t Resist “Search Inside” for “what’s missing” and click on the link for page 24 to see an example.

    Both of those mental math books, btw, are well worth purchasing, IMO.

  2. Hi,
    I found you thru the Carnival; glad to see you here. I saved this page for my little ones. Do you have any resources for help with, or worksheets for, converting metric to English and vice-versa??? I can do this myself, but every time I try to explain it to my 12 yo I confuse her.

    Also, I have not read your blog, so you may know this, but I recently found out about double division (http://www.doubledivision.org). We let division with two- and three-digit divisors go for a LONG while, because she could not get the hang of estimating (and then having to REestimate) to do the problems the usual way. It affected her entire school day every day. She had no confidence. Then we deciphered the new method, and I have a changed kid :o) There is no estimating, and she gets almost 100% right. Hooray! Pass it on :o)

  3. Hi, Sally! I agree that double division is a fine method. The website you linked to does a good job of explaining the reason behind each step. I wish elementary teachers would do a similar thing with regular long division, when teaching that—but how many really understand the reasons behind the algorithm?

    For changing measurements from metric to English or back again, your daughter needs to understand how to use conversion factors. I did a post on that not too long ago…hang on while I look for the link…ah, here we go: How old are you in nanoseconds? If that doesn’t help, feel free to email me (link on the “About Denise” page) with a question.

  4. Those are great ideas but here are a few more:

    1.) Play “Race to 100” with a hundreds chart. This is a game for 2 players. Each player will place their marker on the 1. One player will roll a die and move that many spaces on the hundreds chart. Then the next person will go. The first person to reach 100 wins the game.

    2.) Hundreds Chart Pictures – Clues are given and squares are colored in based on the clues. The colored squares will make a picture or a letter. Look at this website for examples and clues: http://www.jmeacham.com/games.htm

  5. I like the part about counting from an unusual place incrementing with a certain fixed step. It places excitement into counting. Everybody likes challenge. It will create fun.
    However, I like to point out that counting DOWN can also be used. This complement the maths operation of subtraction. Otherwise addition will be stronger than subtraction, ultimately. This may pose some trouble when doing solving of simultaneous equations later on.

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