Counting and writing to 120

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SWBAT count and write their numbers to 120.

Big Idea

Clear up the three digit number confusion! Counting and writing numbers above 100 can create some chaos. This lesson will focus on those higher numbers.

Rev Them Up

5 minutes

My class has been counting to 120 for a whole semester. Counting to 120 will be a great warm-up activity for my class to get them thinking about these numbers for today's lesson. Because it's so monotonous, kids sometimes get bored when counting to these high numbers. To create engagement, I have my students slap their knees or snap their fingers to keep a rhythm and to supply movement. Also, if you are having them focus on 5's or 10's, you could have them save their slap or snap for when they say these numbers. Watch the video in the resource section to see my students counting to the rhythm.

Whole Group Interaction

15 minutes

It is very important for First Graders to have a good grasp of place value for them to develop an understanding of how and why we write our numbers from 1-120 the way we do. It is important for student to be able to rote count from any number to 120, and, to do this, they must see the relationship the numbers share with one another; one more or one less than another (1.NBT.A.1). There is a pattern and structure to the number system and students must recognize this relationship. (MP7). I will be using a place value chart and base ten blocks, as seen in the resource section, to explain and demonstrate how these numbers are created. 

Students, our number system is based on the special number: 10. This could be because we only have ten fingers and a long time ago when people ran out of fingers to count on, they would count items as sets of ten. Let's look at the classroom place value chart. (To learn more about the special number "10" , go here.)

  • As I flip through the cards, how many numerals do you see on each card? (Only 1)

There is only one number on each card because when we reach the number ten, we have a set that can be bumped and moved over to the next value. The ones section can hold up to 9 ones and when we add one more we have a set of ten.

  • Can I write that I have 10 in the ones section? (No, it only holds one numeral.) 

So I will bundle that set of ten together and it will now go in the tens slot.

  • How many sets of ten and ones do I have? (1 set of ten and zero ones) 

So now I have made the number 10, with a 1 in the tens place and a 0 in the ones place. Now I am going to keep adding more sets of 10 (I drop in 9 bundles of ten).

  • What is my number? (90) 
  • I am going to drop in another 10 and now I have 100. Do I put all ten sets of 10 in the tens place? (No, because we have a one hundred place to use.) 

Perfect, so now I can bundle these 10 sets of ten together and put them in the one hundred place; I have 1 one-hundred, 0 tens, and 0 ones. 

This is the foundation they need to know and then I can begin dropping in more cubes to show them how we build the numbers 101, 102, etc.  As I build each number, I will use the worksheet in the resource section to write the numbers we are creating. The vertical table is for me to use during my modeling and they work on it with me. The horizontal table at the bottom is for them to use during independent practice. I created the top table with spaces that hold 3 digits. I want my students to see that the numbers 101-120 only contain 3 digits.

The biggest mistake I see first graders make is when they begin writing the number 101, many of them think they need to write 100 and put a 1 next to that because that is how they say it 1001, when actually that is one thousand one. I will point this out to them also. This is why I designed the vertical table with individual boxes for student to write their numbers with me. When they move on to independent practice they will use the horizontal table at the bottom and write all 3 digits in one box.

Independent Practice

5 minutes

Students will be using the same worksheet we worked on together during the whole group interaction. I will ask them to start with number 101 and write their numbers to 120 using the horizontal table at the bottom of the page. When students are finished I will immediately check their progress.

Lesson Extension and Closure

10 minutes

I want to close out my lesson by having my students write all of their numbers from 1-120. I have used this lesson to focus on the numbers above 100 and this is my opportunity to bring it altogether and see if the connection has been made for my little ones. You can use a plain piece of paper for them to write their numbers on, but it may be easier for them to have a paper with boxes to place their numbers inside. You can see a picture of one type of 120 chart my students use to practice on, but today I want them having to complete the entire chart themselves. You can go to the resource section and print a blank 120 chart for them to complete.

Also, it is important to keep activities out in your room for students to use during free time or centers, for them to practice counting and completing their numbers to 120. One activity that I use is cutting apart a 120 chart into puzzle pieces and my students have to place it back together. You can see pictures in the resource section of our 120 puzzles. You can go here to get a free and very cute 120 chart for your students to use for several counting activities. Another activity that I do occasionally is to pass out a completed 120 chart and I will call out certain numbers and they have to find them and color what I say. It is similar to BINGO and provides good practice in number identification.