Ten more things to do with the hundreds chart - A pre -primary and Primary revisit

Below are some images we parents  (at least some of us) might be able to recall humorously  as those belonging to our school days, BUT I am sure none of us want them to be associated with our kids!

Jokes apart , Mathematics is definitely an important part of our lives and does deserve all the attention it gets.

Mathematics is often regarded as the science of patterns.Children who are comfortable looking for patterns and then using  those patterns to solve problems can also develop an understanding of new concepts in the same way.

From the earliest age, children should be encouraged to investigate the patterns that they find in numbers, shapes and expressions. By doing so, they tend to make lots of mathematical discoveries.

This post is an attempt to illustrate the beauty of patterns found in a simple Mathematics manipulative - The Hundreds table (being used since years, at some pre-primary and all of primary level). A beauty, though observed by many but pointed out to, emphasized and used  for kids by only a few.  A hundreds chart can be a wonderful tool for practicing a variety of maths skills. Generally, for early primary grades it is used to help learn the following skills:
  • Counting from 1-100
  • Identifying numbers
  • Developing number sense skills
  • Skip counting
  • Addition and 'counting on'
  • Subtraction and 'counting back'

Here we have some activities, other than the most common ones associated with a Hundreds chart.They will sharpen and hone your kid's number skills while bringing out the visual beauty aspect of mathematics and lay a strong foundation of understanding numbers at a fundamental level!

  1. Call out a number and have your child cover it with a counter . This, is especially good for a child who has trouble telling the difference between the teens and higher numbers.
2. Practice skip counting by 2's, 5's and 10's .Mark the places by counters and focus on the pattern formed. For instance, gradually the child should be able to say 10 more (or less) than a number without calculating or counting on just by the realising that one can count down (or up) columns by tens. Similarly one can count across rows by ones.

  • Number neighbours -Children can also  use the hundreds chart to find relationships between numbers. For example, 42 is the number 10 more than 32, and so 42 is directly below 32 on the hundreds chart. Likewise the number 33 is next to 32, and it is 1 more than 32.

  • Practice the same but this time start with different numbers- Ex- skip counting by 10's  - start with 3. This skill when mastered is particularly useful.
  • Play the game - Guess my number or I am thinking of  a number - Tell the child you are thinking of a number .Let her guess the number and you say higher or lower (depending on what the number is!) until she can guess the right number.This is based on clues given by you and Qs asked by the child.You can keep using words like-higher,lower,right of it and so on.

  • Rounding to the nearest 10 – say a number and have the child put a mark or a counter  on that number. Then let her decide which 10 that number is closer to and put a mark or a counter on it.
  • Race to 100 - place a counter for each player on square 1 and, using a pair of dice, see who can get to 100 first, by adding the numbers on the rolled dice together.

  • Race from 100 - Similar to the above but start at 100 and subtract and go away from 100.

  • Multiplying Race to 100 - Just like the above, but, instead of adding the numbers multiply them.

  • Prepare a chart with some numbers missing. Cut the chart into 'jigsaw' pieces. You could use jigsaw pieces with only one number showing for the child to complete the missing numbers. Very Important - The child should always describe, how she  obtained answers in terms of adding or subtracting 10 (moving vertically) or 1 (moving horizontally).
  •                                                   Once your child is confident with the chart it is time for some real open ended tasks and challenges like those below (should be put up according to your child's age and level in mathematics) :For example:
    • The number 53 is covered by a piece like the one below . What other numbers might be covered?

    • Draw the smallest jigsaw piece that contains a number and the number 11 more than it.

    •     Draw the smallest jigsaw piece that contains a number and the number that is 20 more than it.
    I am sure all of you are going to have a lot of fun re-exploring the Hundreds Chart with your kids and even making some ignored discoveries of your own on the way! Your kid might be a top mathematics scorer or not be sure to take your kid on this journey of beauty and discovery/rediscovery .For, the skills honed have nothing to do with present school scores but everything to do with building a sound foundation.

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