This blog post gives a good overview of how I used this routine with younger children. It is wonderful for building number sense. If you are interested, you can click on the '100 days of school templates' picture above and download everything you need to make this simple routine part of your school morning as well.

At the moment, there are 2 main ways I'm using my 'count the days' ten frames.

In the 'Counting the Days' set up to the left, we need 98 more days to get to 100. When we left school last Friday to start our 2 week October break (which is one of the reasons I'm finally finding the time to add a blog post), we had counted 37 days in school, which means we need 63 more days to get to 100.

This daily practice getting to the next 100 is important. While many in my class understand how to do this, we still have more-frequent-than-I-would-like mistakes where the 'tens' add up to 100 because we forget that the digits in the units place also add to 10, making the last group of 10 that we need. Seeing the dots laid out on the 10 frames gives the kids a visual reminder that we need 9 tens in the tens place, because our final group of 10 will come from adding the units together.

When we looked at place value at the beginning of the year, we talked about the first decimal place to the right of the decimal point, and how that showed us how many 'tenths' of one thing we had. We've also discussed how, in order to talk about part of a school day as a decimal, we have to divide one day up into 10 equal parts - and at our lunch break, 5 of those equal parts have passed, and we have 5 parts left. This is an idea that I reinforce most days when we add our 1/2 day. Repetition within a context that makes sense is great for developing number sense!

To give the kids a visual representation of the idea of 'tenths' of one day, I've made up the following fractional cards (below), which I've cut out, laminated and put on a scrapbooking ring (click on the picture below to get your own set). There are squares representing each tenth. I've made these into A3 size cards, but you can size them up or down as needed, as the file is a Powerpoint document and editable.

If you are also counting the days of school with your class and have different ways you use this routine to extend their mathematical understanding, I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments!