Math Monday (on Wednesday): 100 Day Math!


I’m not entirely sure when we passed the 100-day mark, but last week was week 20 officially … so we’re going with some 100-day activities this week!

Today I decided to throw caution to the wind and work on counting by 10s with …



… yes, gummy bears. These were purchased by me last week as bribery incentive for baby girl to use the potty (which she is doing great with the last 2 days).

Yes, if are reading the bag, it is 6 lbs. or it used to be, and I snagged it at the big box club warehouse place. I might have a gummy bear addiction going on at this point myself. We have this family tradition of consuming these bears while at the beach with my side of the family, but this is getting to be problematic here … I really need to stop eating them every time I give baby girl her bribery incentive for going potty.

But back to the gummy bear, 100-day math fun, we started out with counting 10 bears onto our pieces of paper.



I asked for a volunteer to count by 10s to 100, and she did it with ease. A skill mastered. Thankfully.

Then we talked about how 4 sets of 10 equals … what?


One of my students knew the answer easily as he has multiplication of that sort mastered. He answered and almost on cue the two first graders wanted to know how he knew that so fast. Don’t you love it when that happens? So teachable when they ASK the question.


I obliged them with an answer: 4 groups of 10 equals 40. I showed them how counting by 10s gets you to the same answer, but also how grouping ten together and counting those groups works out too.

It was just a gentle way of showing them how counting groups of the same number of items allows you to add large quantities in a structured way. I didn’t even mention the word multiply because it wasn’t necessary.

It was about this point in time when Susannah said, “Can we do this again???” There is really nothing that replaces active and living learning! NO doubt the gummy bears helped, but they like to count objects of the non-culinary sort as well.

I noticed even the youngest learner was sorting her bears by color. I’m telling you that she is VERY SMART! Here’s proof!


All four of them were making patterns as went too. I told them to all get 10 more bears, and then we counted by 10s again around the table to see how many bears we had now added all together.

We arrived at 80, and I asked them how many more we needed to add to reach 100. They counted by tens along with using fingers to get the answer of 20.


At this point, I decided to revisit the groups (e.g. multiplication), and asked them how many bears each of the 4 of them would need to equal 20. Jack was able to easily answer this, and so we each counted out 5. To be sure, I had them count their bears starting at 1 and we confirmed we had added 20 more bears to our piles collectively.

To be sure all 100 bears were accounted for, we counted all the way from 1 to 100 around the table. Then we put them in groups of 10 and 5 in each of our piles and counted by tens and then fives, and again we had 100.

They actually loved every minute of this. Earlier as I finished getting dressed, they had watched a brief show on TV that explored graphing, and I decided to extend our learning since they were having so much fun.

**This photo has nothing to do with this post. I had to snap it of baby girl’s hair. Do you see it? Yes, I brush it, and yes, it still looks like this 30 minutes later. She doesn’t rub stuff in it; it is just a frizz ball all the time not to mention her hair is brown and not black. Interesting to say the least!**

I instructed them to finish sorting by colors, and then we would make graphs. I told Jack he could do a circle graph for a bit more of a challenge. He then said, “I can just multiple each number of bears by 4 to figure out the percentage of each.” Really?


He just gets math, which most of the time is helpful (except when he isn’t getting a concept and doesn’t want to be teachable … ahem).


I helped the little ones draw lines and instructed them to trace a bear for each color along the bottom where they had written “Color of Bears” and along the side I make tick marks for them to write numbers “by 2s” and helped them write “Number of Bears” here.


They counted each color and wrote it on the corresponding color of bear at the bottom of their graphs. We then talked about which bear was the greatest amount, which was the least and even which ones were the same or “equal” as they colored in their bars on their graphs.



They savored every moment of this activity, and begged to do this again as well! After they had counted their bears in groups by color, I let them start eating them. Two of them ate all 25 of his/her bears, while two others decided to get a sandwich bag and save some for later. 🙂

All in all, a great group lesson on the number 100 and how we can count in different ways to get there … and how we can decipher different things from our groups of bears.

A certain someone wanted “to do more math on the computer” so I set him up on IXL, where we have a subscription, and he SOARED at the counting by 10s set of questions, completing it to mastery.



Today I’m linking up to love2learn2day’s Math Monday Blog Hop!


2 thoughts on “Math Monday (on Wednesday): 100 Day Math!

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