Using 100 Boards to Count and Add

During the summers I do a lot of tutoring.  One tool I have found that has many, many good uses is a 100 board.  I love this thing!

I use it to teach numbers, values, counting, counting up, addition, counting by 1’s, 5’s, and 10’s, counting money, and to teach addition strategies.

Use the 100 board to teach counting by 10’s.

All you need is a 100 board, some dice, and a few game pieces.   The 100 board you see pictured here is from Lakeshore.  It comes with number tiles from 1 to 100.  One side of the board has the numbers printed on it and the other side is blank for an extra challenge.

The back side of this 100 board is blank for an extra challenge.

Start simple with your beginning learners.  Have them find, sort, and place the numbers 1 to 10 on the game board.  Then the numbers 1 to 20.  It is also a great teaching tool for learning to count by 5’s and 10’s.


This die counts by 10s to 100.

The die above makes learning to count by 10s a fun center game. I found it at a used book store in the gaming section.


My dice collection has grown over the years.  Some count from 0 to 5, others from 1 to 6 or 1 to 12.  I even have one that goes to 20.  These different dice are great for the novelty factor, but also help to provide your students with different challenges as they master each counting or addition skill.

To teach your beginners the skill of one-to-one correspondence start with one die.  Take turns rolling the die and moving the game pieces from 1 to 100 or 1 to 25 on the board, whichever his or her attention span will tolerate.

You’ll find that your students need practice jumping to the next number when they start counting… they tend to count the number they are already on, skip numbers, and recount spaces they have already counted.  They will also need practice sweeping back to the left after each row.

Once your students have the basic counting and sweeping skills on the board, you can start to have some fun with it.  You can set up addition games using dice and game pieces for each player.

Use two dice to teach basic addition and counting-up strategies.

For this game, use two dice and a game piece for each player.  Have students roll the dice and then arrange them from largest number to smallest.  Teach your students to say the first number and count-up to find the answer.  Then they can move their game piece on the board.  First player to 50 or 100 is the winner!


Use more than one dice to teach more complex addition strategies.

With more than two dice, you can start teach teach your students to look for patterns and shortcuts like grouping doubles.  Use dice that go up to 8, 12, or 20 for an even bigger addition challenge.


Using a 100 board to teach counting coins is extremely helpful.  Start with placing the coins on their corresponding value.  Then use dimes on the board as you count by tens.  Nickles as you count by 5s to 100.  Finally, use the board to add-up mixed amounts of coins.  Start with the largest coin.  In the image it is a quarter on 25.  Then add the nickle on 30, tens down to 40 and 50, one more nickle on 55, and the 3 pennies on 56, 57, and 58.

Your students will “see” how counting with coins works!


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