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14 Ways to Use Our Hundred Board Purposefully

My preschooler started using our hundred board at around 3.5 years old, after she became more familiar with the 10 frame. The hundred board is such a useful resource to reinforce number sequence and build number sense from 1 to 100. This has helped her understand the relationships between numbers in a visual AND tactile way.

It is so vital to connect learning to their different senses, including their sense of touch, so that concepts become more concrete and form a deeper impression. I have grown to appreciate that having physical number coins and a hundred board to manipulate, stimulates learning much better than a 2D number chart.

I prefer this hundred board over the traditional Montessori hundred board due to the grooves present which act as error control to keep each coin or loose part within each groove. Our hundred board is double-sided with the hundred board on one side and a flip side to learn about operations (+ , -, <, >), definitely a win in our family.

There are so many Math skills and concepts that can be effectively gleaned from a hundred board. Let us talk about the different fun ways we engage purposefully with our hundred board. The last one is the definite favourite in our family!

1. One-to-One Correspondence

For young learners who are getting acquainted with numeracy, start them off on the number board with basic 1-9, so it does not appear too overwhelming for them. Place number coins 1-9 down the left most column and let your little big dreamer place the corresponding number of loose parts or counters in the respective rows. Invite them to count out loud as they place each loose part in.

2. Number Sequence

Counting from 1-100 is seemingly such an easy task. Perhaps I should say rote counting of 1-100 may be easy but understanding of number sense is more than meets the eyes.

By using a hundred board, children can visually see the positions of different numbers relative to each other. Get them to count out loud and place the number coins in sequence on the hundred board.

Once they are more familiar with the number sequence from 1 to 100, place in the number coins at random while leaving some blank and let your little big dreamer fill in the missing number coins.

This can be done with a control (so that there is input of self correction) by using our 100 chart printable.

3. Lift the Flap Number Peep

The hundred board is such a brilliant resource to learn about 1 more, 1 less, 10 more and 10 less. This helps our little big dreamer to understand the relationships between numbers, so as to build a strong foundation for further arithmetic concepts in the long run.

Simply move our number flap printable around the number board and check which is the number peeping through each flap! This is Little Big Dreamer's printable that fits perfectly on our hundred board.

4. Skip Counting

Guide your little big dreamer to skip count in 2s by counting aloud and putting in the number coins 2, 4, 6, 8, 10...and so forth.

Repeat to practise skipping counting in 5s and 10s. And also other numbers once they are familiar.

Invite them to observe the patterns created by the numbers.

5. Counting backwards

Place the “10” number coin in and invite your little big dreamers to count backwards by putting in the correct number coins.

Repeat for any other numbers.

6. Addition and Subtraction

Place 2 number coins in and invite your little big dreamer to count how many steps it takes from one coin to reach the other coin. Then learn how to form a number sentence.

Moving forward: It takes 4 steps for 12 to reach 16, so 12 + 4 = 16

Moving backward: It takes 4 steps to bring 16 to 12, so 16 - 4 = 12

7. Throw a Dice Board Game

Grab a dice and counters to play board game. Move the number of steps according to the dice and see which player reaches 100 first.

To make it more challenging, use 2 die so that addition is involved.

8. Even and Odd Numbers

Learn about even and odd numbers by placing the relevant number coins onto the hundred board. Or place counters on the even or odd number coins. Observe the patterns formed.

9. Hundred Chart Puzzle

Cut up Little Big Dreamer's hundred chart printable into strips or different L or T shapes for your little big dreamer to fit onto the hundred board.

They can start with having the number coins on the board for reference then remove the number coins once they become more familiar.

P.S. Our hundred chart fits perfectly onto our hundred board!

10. Fill in the Blanks Puzzle Strips

Cut out Little Big Dreamer's puzzle strips printable accordingly; some puzzle strips shown below.

For a start, place all the number coins onto the hundred board, so that your little big dreamer can refer to.

Once they can fulfill this level of difficulty, proceed to let them fill in the blanks without reference to the hundred board. This builds a strong foundation in understanding 1/10 more/less.

11. Guess the Number

Fill up the hundred board with 100 number coins. Think of a number then give clues to your little big dreamer to remove the irrelevant number coins according to your clues.

“This number is from 1-50” then they will remove number coins 51-100.

“This number is larger than 20” then they will remove number coins 1-19.

In this game, they further understand the relationships between numbers and the terms “larger/bigger than”, “smaller than”, “more than”, “less than “, “between” etc.

12. Introduce simple graphing concepts

Introduce basic x and y axis concepts to your little big dreamers.

Put number coins 1-9 on the x-axis and use any counters or loose parts on the y-axis. Invite your little big dreamers to count how many of each type of counters there are and place onto the y axis.

13. Spot the Error on the Hundred Board

Exchange positions of one or more pairs of number coins then invite your little one to spot the error! So much focus goes into recalling the number sequence and to spot the error.

For younger learners, start with number coins 1-10 or according to their numeracy levels.

14. Algorithm Thinking

This sounds like a handful but in fact, we practise algorithmic thinking daily to fulfill tasks. It is the process of creating systematic logical steps to produce a defined output during problem solving.

In our day to day life, in order to reach our destination:

First, we use keys to open the doors. Then we step out of the house. Next, we lock the doors. Then we walk to the bus stop followed by boarding the bus. After which, we press the bell when we reach. Finally, we alight from the bus. Well, you get what I mean.

Thus, a hundred board (with 100 grooves) is an absolutely brilliant resource to use to nurture this 21st century life skill - algorithmic thinking.

Place in a few number coins or loose parts onto the hundred board and invite our little big dreamers to write down the steps required to get from each point to another. For a start, guide them along from the first point to the second, so on and so forth. There are so many different ways to build the algorithms.

“How does number coin 1 move to number coin 2?”

“How does number coin 2 move to number coin 3?”

“How does number coin 3 move to number coin 4?”

Create fun storylines to oomph up the fun factor.

"The doll is really hungry! Help the doll to eat, starting from the pink watermelon to the green broccoli to the blue blueberries to the yellow banana to the orange mandarin!"

Silly and captivating stories are bound to draw our little big dreamers in to have some fun while working on some really important life skills.

Always remember: "What the hand does, the mind remembers" - Maria Montessori

I hope you have as much as fun we do using our hundred board to play and learn a handful of fundamental Math and cognitive skills! Tag us on our Instagram #LBDcommunity when you try out these activities.

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