Hundreds Chart

The hundreds chart (or 100s chart) is an extremely simple idea with huge possibilities for helping first graders with math.

It consists of a grid of numbers from 1 to 100, with each row containing a group of 10 numbers. As a result, children using this chart can count across rows by ones, and down columns by tens. The 100s chart can be used as a tool for helping learning a range of first grade skills, including:

  • counting from 1-100
  • identifying numbers
  • learning odd and even numbers
  • developing number sense skills
  • visualizing patterns of skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s
  • addition and "counting on"
  • subtraction and "counting back"

Hundreds Chart Activities

Here are just a few first grade activities and games that you can do with a 100s chart (click here for a free, printable hundreds chart).

  1. Hundreds Chart Puzzle: Cut a hundreds chart into puzzle pieces along the lines. Give the pieces to a child to piece back together.

  2. Hundreds Chart
  3. Find the Number Game: To play this 2-person game, you'll need a hundreds chart and two color counters, or squares of paper in two different colors. The child 1 says the name of a number on the chart. Child 2 finds the number and covers it with his color counter. Then they switch roles, with child 2 calling a number for child 1 to find. As they go back and forth, calling and covering numbers, the chart will fill up with two colors of counters. The goal is to be the first to get three of your colored counters in a row. (Players have no control over their own numbers, but they can use strategy to try and keep the other player from getting 3 in a row.)

  4. Color It In: Give kids a 100s chart and some crayons. Have kids color in all the even numbers, or skip count by 5s and circle these numbers in red. First graders will enjoy seeing the colored patterns emerge when exploring skip-counting, especially when patterns overlap (counting by 5s and counting by 10s, for example).

  5. Penny Calculations: Show kids how to add and subtract with a penny. Give an addition problem such as 35+7. Have kids identify the larger number and put their penny on that number. Then have the child move the penny up as many times as the second number shows. Practice with problems such as 6+22, and 9+41, to give kids practice identifying the larger number first, then adding the smaller number. This is an important addition skill. For Penny Subtraction, start on the larger number and move backwards.

  6. Big Addition: The hundreds chart can be used to start kids adding numbers that would normally be too big for them to handle in normal calculations. Give a problem like 31+25. Have kids put a counter on the first number. When adding a number bigger than 10, first add tens by moving the counter down that many places. From 31, kids would move down 2 rows, going from 31, to 41, to 51. Then look at the ones place (5) and move the counter to the right five times, counting: 52, 53, 54, 55, 56. 31+25=56.

  7. Counting with a Hundreds Chart
  8. Big Subtraction: This is done just like Big Addition, but kids learn to start on the bigger number, move up by tens, and then move to the left by ones to solve subtraction problems.

  9. Everything Plus Nine: Say any number and have kids add 9. Go all over the chart: 3+9, 78+9, 35+9. What patterns do children notice every time you add 9? Give plenty of time adding one number, then move on to another. What patterns do you notice when you add 11? What about 20?

  10. Start Anywhere: Practice counting by 10s, but with a twist: start anywhere on the hundreds chart. Take turns telling each other where to start, and count by 10s to (around) 100. For example: start on 52 and count: 62, 72, 82, 92. When kids are good at this, count by 2s starting on every number. Or count backwards by 10s, or backwards by 2s!

  11. Race to 100: Give kids each a 100s chart and a counter. Take turns rolling 2 dice and moving your counter along the chart that many times. The first to get to 100 wins. (You can add a more challenging element to this game by having kids predict where on the chart they will land after rolling the dice. Example: if a child is on number 10 and rolls a 2 and a 4, can he predict that he will land on 16 before counting this out on the chart? If so, he can move an extra space.)

Do you need a good hundreds chart? If all you need is a paper version, you can download one here. Or take a look at some other great options below.



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“Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself. ”
~John Dewey