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Counting to 100: Math Activities for First Graders

written by: Tracey Bleakley • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 2/8/2012

Learning to count to 100 can be a challenge for many young children. It takes lots of practice and lots of exposure to numbers in different ways. These counting to 100 activities will help your first graders see the patterns in numbers and become more fluent in their counting skills.

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    Hundreds Chart Activities

    Using a hundreds chart is a great way to help your students become familiar with the numbers to 100. These counting to 100 activities will help your students understand the patterns in numbers and making counting easier.

    • Use a hundreds chart to practice counting to 100 by ones, tens, and fives.
    • Show the class a large 1 to 100 chart. Then remove or cover four or five of the numbers. Have students figure out which numbers are missing and discuss how they know. Continue to play until the children are comfortable finding the missing numbers. Later this can be used as a math center activity or as a small group activity for students who need more help.
    • Fill in the first fifteen or twenty numbers in a hundreds chart pocket chart. Then place the left over numbers in a basket. Over several days call up students one at a time to choose a number from the basket and place it in its correct spot on the chart. Talk about how they can figure out where the numbers go. Replace ten to twelve numbers a day until the chart is complete again.
    • Give each student a hundreds chart on card stock. Show them how to cut along the lines of the chart and cut it into five or six pieces to make a puzzle. Have them write their names on the back of each piece and provide envelopes for them to store their puzzles in. After they practice working their own puzzles, they can trade with a friend. The puzzles can be stored in a basket for a center activity.

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    Games for Counting to 100

    These games are fun activities to help students practice counting to 100.

    • Roll to 100 Give each pair of students a hundreds chart, two dice and 100 hundred counters, such as beans, pennies, or unifix cubes. On his turn one student rolls the two dice, adds them together and then collects that number of counters and marks the number on a hundreds chart. Then his partner does the same thing adding to the counters already taken. Each time counters are added, the new total should be marked on the chart. Students continue to play until they reach 100. Students can also play this game with base ten blocks (units, rods and flats) and practice trading in ten units for ten rod as they play the game.
    • Cover 100 For this game each student needs a one hundreds chart to use as a game board, a collection of at least 100 counters and one six-sided die. On his turn the first students rolls his die and places that number of counters on his hundreds chart starting at the number one. Then the other student takes a turn. On each turn the students take turns rolling and adding counters to the charts. The first student to cover his chart and reach 100 wins.
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    More Counting to 100 Activities

    Here are a few more ideas for activities to help your first graders learn to count to 100.

    • Have students write the numbers from 1 to 100 on adding machine tape. Then have them go back and circle the fives and underline the tens. This activity helps with counting by fives and tens too.
    • Use Fruit Loops or Cheerios cereal and string to make necklaces with 100 edible "beads." To make it easier to keep track the students can add the cereal in groups of ten, alternating between colors if they are using Fruit Loops or another colored cereal- 10 pinks, then 10 greens, etc..
    • Make a math center with Ziploc bags filled with different numbers of counters. Students choose a bag and count the objects in it. Then they can trade bags with a partner, count and compare to check their counting. Early in the year only put twenty or thirty items in the bags and increase numbers as the year progresses.

    These math activities will have your first graders counting to 100 in no time.