Seeing the patterns in numbers helps kids in math. It helps them with different math functions, but first, it helps them to read and count numbers beyond 100. Knowing that numbers have a particular order and remembering the order can be quite a challenge for some kids.
Using a hundreds chart gives many opportunities to explore these patterns and gives students practice in counting and remembering numbers in the correct order. Although they are called hundreds charts, there are different common variations including 0–99, 1–100, and 1–120.
You can use a hundreds chart to:
- Count on from a number
- Count back from a number
- Count more than and less than a particular number
- Fill in the missing numbers
- Look for patterns
- Skip count
- Look for odd and even numbers.
7 Hundreds Chart Math Activities
Let’s take a closer look at how to use hundreds charts to help students with number sense and other math skills.
Count on from a number
Counting on from a number can be a mental math skill, but as students are getting used to larger numbers or learning the skill, it can be useful for them to have a visual guide of what they are doing. Have them find a particular number, say 27, and count on from there.
Count back from a number
Counting back from a number is quite similar to counting on from a number, but for many students counting backward may be trickier. It helps to be able to see the numbers as they move backward. They can read off each number as they count back, or they can simply count back the correct number to see where they land.
Count more than or less than from a particular number
This is similar to counting on or counting back, but focusing on how much more or less. So for example, if you were talking about 9 more than 46, students would find 46 on the hundreds chart and count on 9 to get 55. If you wanted to find 13 less than 87, they could use the chart, rather than counting back in their heads to find the answer. This helps introduce students to addition and subtraction. Even students who can add and subtract without a number line or chart may discover patterns by working with the hundreds chart.
Fill in the missing number
White out several numbers in the chart and ask students to fill them in. While it may seem obvious to you, students who are still getting used to counting and number patterns will have to think about it.
Look for patterns
Ask students to look for patterns in the hundreds chart. Some students may see patterns right away. If not, ask them to look at all the rows. Then have them look at columns. They might notice that all the numbers in a column end in the same number, or that aside from the first row, they start in numbers in ascending order (1, 2, 3 …). Ask what other patterns they see.
Show students how to skip count using the hundreds chart. Start by counting by 10s. Then count by 5s. Challenge students to count by 3 s or 7s. The chart helps them with the skip counting.
Look for odd and even numbers
Ask students to circle all the odd numbers or highlight the even ones. After students have done this (and you’ve checked to correct any errors), look at patterns again. Students should notice that every other number is even or odd. They might notice that in a 1–100 chart every column is either even or odd.
Using Hundreds Chart Math Puzzles
In addition to these traditional hundreds chart activities, I like to use hundreds charts as puzzles. Students cut out the puzzle pieces and then paste them onto another piece of paper to make a 100 grid. I’ve created different versions of the puzzles for you:
- 0-99 chart
- 1-100 chart
- 1-120 chart.
You can download and print the puzzles. They work particularly well printed on cardstock. You can also enlarge the grids to make them easier to cut and handle for smaller children. Another option is to glue a small magnetic strip on the back of each piece and have students put the puzzles together on a magnetic whiteboard or metal tray (an excellent idea for your math center).
You can get your free, downloadable Hundreds Chart Puzzles, by filling in the form below:
I hope your students have fun with the hundreds chart puzzles. Once they are assembled, you can use the charts in more traditional ways to explore and practice numbers and counting.
For more fun math activities and games, check out the Bumper Book of Fun Math Games and Activities containing over 60 activities to help kids with core math skills all while keeping it fun.