Using the Hundred Chart to Teach Math

Games, Puzzles, and Pattern Recognition With a Hundred Chart

Mixed race student counting on fingers in classroom
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The hundred chart is a valuable learning resource to help young children with counting to 100, counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, multiplication, and seeing counting patterns.

You can play counting games with students based on the hundred chart worksheets, which the student either fills in on their own, or you can print out a hundred chart that is prefilled with all the numbers.

Regular use of the hundred chart from kindergarten to the 3rd grade supports many counting concepts.

Help With Seeing Patterns

Use a prefilled hundred chart or ask your students to fill their own. As a student fills in the chart, the child will begin to see patterns emerge.

You can ask the question, "Circle in red the numbers on the chart that end in "2." Or, similarly, put a blue box around all numbers ending in "5." Ask what they notice and why they think it is happening. Repeat the process with numbers ending in "0." Talk about the patterns they notice.

You can help students practice their multiplication tables in the chart by counting by 3s, 4s, or whichever multiplier and coloring in those numbers.

Counting Games 

To save on paper, you can provide students with a laminated copy of a hundred chart for quicker access. There are many games that can be played on a hundred chart that help children learn about counting to 100, placement, and order of number.

Simple word problems you can try include addition functions, such as, "What number is 10 more than 15?" Or, you can practice subtraction, like, "What number is 3 less than 10."

Skip counting games can be a fun way to teach a fundamental concept using a marker or coins to cover all the 5s or 0s. Have children name the numbers underneath without peeking.

Similar to a game like Candy Land, you can have two children play together on one chart with a small marker for each player and a dice. Have each student start at the first square and move in numerical order through the chart and have a race to the end square. If you want to practice addition, start from the first square. If you want to practice subtraction, start from the last square and work backward.

Make Math a Puzzle

You can teach place value by cutting up the columns (lengthwise) into strips. You can have the students work together to reorder the strips into a complete hundred chart.

Alternatively, you can cut up the hundred chart into big chunks, like a puzzle. Ask the student to piece it back together.

Make Math a Mystery

You can play a game called "Too Big, Too Small," with a large group of children and a hundred chart. You can base it on the entire hundred chart. You can preselect a number (mark it somewhere, then conceal it). Tell the group that you have a number one through 100 and they must guess it. Each person gets a turn to guess. They can each say one number. The only clue you will give is, "too big," if the number exceeds the preselected number, or "too small," if the number is less than the preselected number. Have the children mark off on their hundred chart the numbers that are canceled out by your clues of "too big," and "too small."