There is something appealing about the number 100. It feels round and neat and somehow complete, at least to a "word" person like me! "Number" people have a fondness for 100, too, and that's really what this issue of Class Ideas is about. Depending on when your school year started (and how many snow days you've had so far!), your 100th day of school will probably fall at the end of January.
To help you celebrate this more-than-halfway point in the school year, we're bringing you a sleighload of hundred board resources and activities, including a New Year's special on the soon-to-be-published Hundred Board Book and an article by the book's co-authors, Vincent Altamuro and Sandra Clarkson.
The hundred board is a valuable tool for helping students construct and visualize number patterns, expand the counting sequence, develop place value understanding, and begin to build bridges between multiplication and addition. Activities similar to those in the Hundred Board Book are essential if one is to help children develop a greater understanding of the mathematical content of the primary grades. Additionally, hundred board activities help provide a strong foundation for the mathematical content of the ensuing grades and enable students to construct the relationships among the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
A major focus of mathematics education is the study and recognition of patterns. In the primary grades this study greatly concerns number. The National Research Council stated in 2009 that "mathematics experiences in early childhood settings should concentrate on (1) number (which includes whole numbers, operations, and relations) and (2) geometry, spatial relations, and measurement, with more mathematics learning time devoted to number than to other topics."
Both conceptual knowledge and procedural knowledge are essential if students are to truly understand mathematics. Children who do not fully understand a topic may rely on the memorization of steps and rules instead. Often, memorizing procedures is the vehicle to achieve a correct response instead of understanding the content. Consequently, if forgotten, these procedures cannot be recreated when necessary because very little understanding of the content exists.
In the new Common Core State Standards, the Standards for Mathematical Content provide for a balanced combination of procedure and understanding. Integrating appropriate concrete materials and tools, such as the hundred board, to model the mathematics content will help students accomplish this objective.
Hundred board activities can be experienced individually, in pairs, and in groups. Children should be encouraged to work together. Working with small groups allows the teacher to observe students and identify problems they may be having with the concepts. And student interactions and discussions result in a fuller comprehension of the content. As a result, understanding and joy begin to replace students' anxiety and fear of mathematics.
The Hundred Board Book offers 60 activities and games to develop, consolidate, and extend students' understanding of number patterns, place value, addition and subtraction, and the base ten number system. This new book by Vincent Altamuro and Sandra Clarkson is as engaging and easy to use as their earlier Didax titles, Pattern Block Book and Advanced Pattern Block Book. A digital version of the book with interactive counters is included for whiteboard users.
We hope you'll agree that this one-of-a-kind resource for the hundred board belongs on your classroom bookshelf!
What better way to celebrate the 100th day of school than to have students get out their hundred boards and play some seriously fun games? Check out the links below for ideas and resources to make that 100th day of school memorable!
National Grammar Day is March 4th, and to help you prepare, we'll have an informative article, downloadable activities, and a fantastic special on our new interactive CDs, Punctuation and Parts of Speech. With these engaging products, students will write grammatically correctly sentences and punctuate them with confidence. Watch your inbox for the February issue!