The Montessori Hundred Chart is a highly valuable teaching tool for counting, basic math, and patterns. It is one of the best ways for children to learn how numbers relate to one another. My 4-year-old daughter is having fun learning with the Hundred Chart every day, but this is a versatile resource for preschoolers and lower elementary aged children!
Since my children are learning 3 languages, I’ve created a Hundred Chart printable with Arabic (also known as European digits), Chinese, and Korean numbers (Sino Korean & Native Korean). The printable is editable, so you can change it to any language that your child is learning!
When to introduce the Hundred Chart
Before introducing the hundred chart, your child should understand not only how to rote count, but also one-to-one correspondence. In other words, 1 represents 1 object, 2 represents 2 objects etc. After they understand meaningful counting, you can introduce the symbolic representation of numbers in any language. Generally, I recommend teaching only a few numbers at a time so that your child is not overwhelmed and has a better chance at remembering and feeling confident.
When your child can recognize double digit numerals, he or she may be ready for the Hundred Chart. Remember that you can always cut the Hundred Chart into smaller chunks (eg 1-20) and build up from there.
My daughter first learned how to count and read Arabic numerals and then Chinese characters, although any order of language is fine. Young children often can learn concepts simultaneously in multiple languages, but my daughter happened to learn Chinese and Korean later than English.
Through the Montessori Hundred Chart, my daughter’s understanding of basic addition and subtraction has improved, and she’s having fun making different patterns! We used a mix of Montessori principles and also integrated other learning strategies (eg, unit blocks, dot stickers).
Materials needed for the Montessori Hundred Chart:
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- Hundred Chart (Free download with Arabic, Chinese, & Korean numbers)
- Laminating sheets
- White printer paper
- Colorful printer paper
- Avery 0.75″ dot stickers (make sure you get the Avery brand so that the stickers can peel off easily)
- Paper trimmer
- Optional: knife
Here are 10+ Fun Ways to Teach with the Hundred Chart:
1. Counting with a Hundred Chart
The first thing to teach is counting! New learners should start from 1, but you can challenge older learners by starting from random numbers.
2. Create base 10 Blocks and Blocks of Different Sizes with a Hundred Chart
Using colored paper, we printed multiple copies of the Hundred Chart and cut the blocks into singles, doubles, 5s, and 10s with a paper trimmer. For the 10s, we cut them in rows and columns. Since each unit is a square, cutting the strips in different groups teaches children that 1+1 = 2 units, 5 units is half the size of 10 units, etc.
Use the blocks to sequence numbers by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s.
3. Find & write random missing numbers in a Hundred Chart
Cover numbers with stickers and find the matching numbers! Kids can also pencil in the numbers if they know how to write. Avery dot stickers are fantastic, because pencil erases with little residue, and the stickers can be reused several times.
4. Use dot stickers to create letters in a Hundred Chart
First, print multiple copies of the Hundred Chart. Then spell your child’s name or another special word with dot stickers!
5. Use dot stickers to make shapes and patterns with a Hundred Chart
You can create so many shapes and patterns with the Hundred Chart! In the photos below, we made rectangle, diamond, cross, square, and triangle shapes with dot stickers. We also made a flower and a Christmas tree!
6. Learn basic addition and subtraction with a Hundred Chart
Cut a window from the Math Key template and show how to derive neighboring numbers by adding or subtracting by 1 or by 10. The Math Key also covers neighboring numbers so that the focus is on the number in the window.
The photo below shows 2 versions of the Math Key: one with a window only and one with a window and flaps. For both, I first cut the key as well as center window before laminating. After laminating, I created flaps for one version by cutting along the dotted lines with a X-ACTO knife.
7. Skip count with dot stickers in a Hundred Chart
Since my kids are 3 years apart, skip counting is a great way to teach my daughter how old she will be when her brother is a certain age! It is also an excellent way to introduce multiplication. Yay for more learning with dot stickers!
8. Use a blank Hundred Chart for open-ended learning
With a blank chart, children can write in missing numbers. Alternatively, print out more charts on colored paper, divide the chart into different sizes, and make a puzzle with the pieces!
9. Use the Hundred Chart as a coloring sheet!
Kids can color even numbers, odd numbers, or any pattern they wish.
10. Learn about money with a Hundred Chart
Use pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters with the Hundred Chart to learn about the value of each coin.
11. Math Cubes manipulatives with a Hundred Chart
The popular Learning Resources Mathlink Cubes fits with the Hundred Chart. The 100 cubes can be linked together to learn how to count by pairs or other grouping. In addition, the sides of each cube have geometric shape cutouts for more complex pattern learning! Please note that after owning these for a couple years, we actually did not get much use of them. I personally think that the Montessori decanomial beads are much more useful, and my daughter learned much more from the beads. However, since these are frequently recommended by other parents, I thought I would include them here. Click here to preview the Mathlink Cubes and read Amazon reviews.
12. Hundred Chart: Race to 100!
Have a race with dried beans or other small objects! Roll the dice, and move the small object X number of spaces according to the result. See who gets to 100 first!
13. Integrate multiple languages together!
Sometimes my daughter likes to play with all 3 language versions of the Montessori Hundred Chart simultaneously! For fun, she might start counting in Chinese, switch to Korean, then finish in English! She’s very aware of which language she is speaking, and it’s amazing to hear her switch fluidly from one to another!
Montessori Hundred Board
If you’re looking for something more hands-on, we absolutely love this 100 board made by Treasures from Jennifer! It’s very versatile! Pom poms are included and you can buy number coins plus alphabet coins for English reading practice! The quality is amazing, and my kids get a lot of fine motor exercise in addition to math!
Related Montessori-inspired learning activities
- 10 ways to use a wood Montessori Hundred Board
- Our favorite hands-on Montessori-Inspired learning tools from small shops on Etsy
- To see all hands-on Chinese learning activities, please browse our activities by topic with your family!
More Chinese math resources for kids
- How I’m Teaching My Children Math For Free
- 10+ math resources, including Khan Academy, music, and other tools!
- For convenient access to the Free Chinese Printables Library, please subscribe here!
Bilingual Facebook Group
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