What is a Hundred Board?
Hundred Board is one of the essential Montessori Math materials, with a variety of extensions that go beyond the initial presentation. The purpose of this material is to reinforce the number sequence from 1 to 100, which is something that children very quickly grasp through counting by heart, making the family proud of this mechanical reciting of sequence from memory. As all other Montessori materials, Hundred Board aims to provide understanding by using number symbols when counting, helping the child discover their relation and place in the sequence.
When to introduce the Hundred Board?
Prerequisite to introducing the Hundred Board is not only your child’s ability to count but also the sound understanding of one-to-one correspondence. It means that your child understands that the numbers are abstract representations of concrete quantities (1 means one object, 2 means two objects, etc.) and can recognise and name number symbols 1 to 100. You can easily recreate this material, such as printing out my Hundred board replica or, if you are particularly crafty, you can use the combination of felt and velcro or even wood to make it long lasting.
Working with this material will build upon their existing knowledge and solidify the sequencing, by allowing children to use the control chart first as a guide in placing tiles in their respective places on the board. Later, the chart can be used to revise the completed work and make necessary corrections. Either way, it supports independence, exploration and enhances self-esteem.
However, you don’t have to wait for your child to “tick all the boxes” of prerequisites if they start showing interest in exploring the Hundred Board. Remember that the main motto of the Montessori philosophy is to “follow the child”. Here are some ideas how to make this activity enticing for a child who is not “quite there yet”, as well as for those who mastered the initial presentation and are ready to move on to more challenging work.
Other fun ways to use the Hundred board
Check out this alternative to the Montessori Hundred Board available on Etsy to see how you can use it as a sorting activity, reinforcing the concept of tens in a concrete way.
2. Break it into tens
If completing the entire Hundred board at once is too demanding and is making your child frustrated, allow their concentration to build gradually by giving them one row of tiles at a time. In that case, make sure to cover parts of the board and control chart that the child won’t be using.
3. Odd and even numbers
Divide the tiles into odd and even numbers and use blank tiles or pom poms to fill in the blanks on the board before letting your child fill it in with odds/evens.
4. Skip counting
Prepare your child for multiplication by introducing the skip counting. Just like with odd and even numbers, give your child only the necessary tiles and prepare the board by filling in the blanks. This might not be needed later, as your child grows in competency and understanding of the concept.
5. Other Numerals
Translate the tiles of your Hundred Board into Roman, Arabic, Chinese, Thai and other numerals.
Have you had a chance to use the Hundred Board with your child or students in your class? Did you discover some other fun alternative ways to use it? Let us know in the comments!