Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Hundreds Chart Fun!

This year was the year I rediscovered the hundreds chart.

This statement might make you just cover your face in disbelief, but it's true. 

I neglected and underutilized this little math tool.

I'm sorry.

HOWEVER! I am here to make it up to you all by sharing some simple, but meaningful ideas that I've used in my classroom recently that helped my students understand concepts such as ten more/ten less, one more/one less, number order, and adding groups of ten.

When I first started teaching my kids about using the hundreds chart to find one or ten more/less than a number, they really struggled with the concept. Many of them would confuse the two because they didn't understand which way to go to count on the hundreds chart. More specifically, they struggled with mastering "ten more" - they would just call out any number that they knew was more than the number I gave, but not necessarily ten more. I knew I had to simplify it by breaking it down into a simpler format for them.

Luckily, my old friend Pinterest came through for me - I found an AMAZING and FUN resource to help kids learn how to use the hundreds chart from Foxwell Forest. She created a fun little hundreds chart song to go with the Cupid Shuffle. I found the song (music only) on YouTube, played it in the background, and we sang and moved and grooved to the song. I love any lesson that I can integrate music and movement to, so it was the perfect activity that helped my little friends remember which way to go to find ten/one more/less. Here's a video of Becca performing it in her own classroom so you can see!

Find the free song lyrics here!
After we practiced the song a few times, each student got their own hundreds chart and one unifix cube. 
Then I used an online interactive hundreds chart on abcya.com and called out numbers for my students to start on. Then, I'd call out, "Ten more!" or "One less" and vice versa and my students would have to move their cube to the correct number. This allowed me to see who had a good understanding of the concept.

Once my students had a chance to practice on their own hundreds chart, I wanted to increase their critical thinking a bit by giving them a bit more abstract of an activity to complete. I put my students into groups of 5 and gave each one a whiteboard. Then we put the whiteboards together to form the 10 more, 10 less, one more, one less cross as if it were a bigger version of a hundreds chart. Then I gave each group a number to start with, which they put in the center, and then each student was responsible for filling out the rest of the blank boards with the numbers that were more and less than the given number based on the hundreds chart.

Then we completed a little activity sheet for independent practice. After reviewing the work they did, not every student had a grasp on the concept, so the next day, I added another little activity to our hundreds chart learning.

I'm lucky to have a big rug in my classroom, and it just so happens to have big multicolored square spots on it. An idea struck me - it was the perfect template to pose as an empty hundreds chart! I printed out a bunch of papers with various numbers on it from 24-58 and handed one out to each student. Then, they had to take their paper and use their knowledge of ten/one more and less to fill out the "hundreds chart". It was such a great activity and helped my students mathematical thinking so much! Every time a student placed a number down, they had to tell me how they knew it was supposed to go there.

These activities were so great because they were hands-on, fun activities with absolutely no prep required (except for printing the numbers out!). These are the best kind of activities to use, am I right?!? And the most exciting part of it all, for me, was that my students really began to grasp the concepts of more and less and began to relate it to double digit addition.

These activities helped me rejuvenate the use of the hundreds chart in my classroom so that now it's a useful tool for my students to use in a variety of ways!

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