Sunday, September 14, 2014

One Hundred Board

Last night Ben told me for the first time about something called a One Hundred Board that some of the kids at his school work with during Montessori time.  I had never heard of it before, so we looked it up on-line.  Ben explained to me that it helps people learn how to count to one hundred, but he had never used it because "I don't know how to count that high".  He was very excited about the idea of the board, but clearly concerned that he might not be ready for it or know how to use it correctly.  So this morning we made a simple one hundred board.

We used an old cardboard box for our board.  We then measured out squares for the numbers on construction paper.  I had Ben count along with me as I wrote in the numbers on each square.  With a little help, he surprised himself by realizing that counting to 100 wasn't going to be as monumental a task as he'd originally believed.  He then helped cut out the individual numbers which was good scissors practice for him (and a reminder to me that he needs a little more practice in that area).

And that's all we needed.  We then played around with the board and the numbers.  The first time, I placed all the multiples of 10 on the board for him (10, 20, 30, 40, etc) so he would have some reference points for filling in the rest.  I then gave him nine numbers at a time (1-9; 11-19; 21-29) so he would not get overwhelmed and could just concentrate on filling in one line at a time.  After doing that once, we played around a bit with filling in multiples of 5.  As we placed numbers on the board, he (and I) started to see some useful patterns.  Even though he felt like he didn't know the names of all the numbers, he could start to tell what the next number should "look" like. 

I can see a lot of value to the number board for teaching simple addition and subtraction, and it reminds me of a more complicated square I used for learning my multiplication tables.  I feel like many of us are used to learning numbers by listening to them and then counting out loud or counting physical items.  Having this visual reference of the numbers themselves was really fascinating to me. There are a number of videos on-line showing people using the One Hundred Table (and Ben tells me there is a Two Hundred Table and a Five Hundred Table), but I'm curious to hear if others use this board and how they have found it useful with their children - and any fun games you may do with it.  It feels like a really simple but powerful tool.

Now that he has seen a little bit of how it works, Ben is looking forward to trying out the "real thing" at school.  We'll see what he comes home to teach me this week!

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