Building the 100’s chart

As one of our first large-group activities at summer numeracy camp, our Mathletes collaboratively constructed a hundreds chart using a masking tape grid and foam numbers. This was a great way to explore numbers, identify number patterns, and build number sense with the students. As described by Melissa Conklin, some important questions to ask when building the hundreds chart include:

  • Where does this number belong on the 100’s chart?
  • How did you know the number belongs there?
  • Can you see any patterns emerging on the 100’s chart?

After building an entire hundreds chart together, we used an interactive SMART notebook file to identify some number patterns. Students counted by twos, threes, fives, tens, etc., and successfully identified many patterns along with their mistakes or ‘hiccups’! Our Mathletes then worked individually to rebuild the hundreds chart on a piece of grid paper. There were many different strategies being used to efficiently fill in the numbers, and even our youngest students completed their own hundreds chart using a model and prompting. The students were then asked to create a colourful number pattern on their hundreds chart, and many challenged themselves to colour complicated patterns (counting by sixes, nines, etc.).

As a review and consolidation, we also used this riddle to get the students thinking about number patterns in the hundreds chart:

I am thinking of a number between 10 and 100 with a single 9 in it. What might my number be?

The students came up with many answers and explained their thinking, describing how their number fits the three criteria of the riddle!


Finally, I always like to incorporate a read-aloud if possible to link literature with mathematics. When discussing the hundreds chart, the book One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes is an engaging way to get students thinking about rectangular arrays, multiplication, and factors of one hundred. We consolidated by discussing the different arrangement of rows that the ants tried in order to get to the picnic. At the end of the day, I was impressed by the students’ grasp of the hundreds chart and their progress after completing these fun and interactive activities!


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