Fast Counting to 100 or 120 Math Trick Free PDF

This is a fast counting to 100 or 120 math trick ON PAPER  for children to play on parents, they love it! Free printable and YouTube demonstration of fast counting to either 100 or 120. See a complete blog post about this “magic” math at the Castle View Academy blog, as well.

CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.A.1  Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.

Math trick for first graders:  Children to show how smart they are with this trick, to parents and older siblings, as they will “win.”  This is a free printable that has children circle numerals in order from 1 to 120 and there is a way to do this quickly and in order.  The printable has four pages of options, explained on page 2.  So using any one of the pages, children learn the secret of looking for one number in each quadrant at a time, going in order, and in a clock wise circle.  The video below shows one person working quickly (reaching 44) while the other gets to a lower number.  One knows the trick, but the other doesn’t!  This can be fun for students of all ages, or even at a party.Fast Counting to 100 or 120 Math Trick Free PDFThis video helps teach the trick with one child knowing the trick before the other one knows it. It is so interesting the boy figured out that it was counting by 4’s and not a more simple method of going in a circle. The young girl knows what quadrants are!

And here is a quick demonstration YouTube video.

I present this as a challenge and there is always someone who tries to just circle the numerals, not going in order.  Not allowed!  I circle numbers myself and say things like, “I’m on 25 what number are you on?”  The children might be on 6 or 7.  They will complain and say it isn’t fair (favorite first grade saying).  Then I ask if they want to learn the trick so they can try it on other people.  Of course, yes!  We fold the paper in fourths, but the first fold is tricky (the hot dog fold) as it can only go up to the words as they aren’t part of the quadrant.  The second fold is just in half, not tricky. Later, the children learn just to visualize the divisions.

Start with 1 to 100 as shown in the video as it is fairly obvious and the children will be successful.  Then try the 1 to 120 page, which again is obvious.  Pages 3 and 4 have numbers in a somewhat random fashion, so those are harder.  The children will want more copies of everything so tell them one thing they can do is use a different colored pencil each time and reuse paper.  They can play blue or red games, for instance.  A real challenge is to play any of the pages backwards.

Organizing thinking in math is important for children to learn and this really makes a point!  Ask the children what they notice about the numbers in each quadrant as their are some good observations they can make.

Math Trick

Teach Junkie Creative Ideas

Have fun!  Carolyn



Two free printables for working with numbers 1-10 and numbers 11-20


Free 3-D math work pages for grade one with answer keys for teachers.


Count to 100 or 120 fast — math trick with organized thinking. Free instant download at the post.


Data Day for SMARTBoard (pockets, buttons, siblings, and so on) line plot graphing


Free games and puzzles for 20 (includes subtraction and addition)


Two instant download freebies for Father’s Day


Greater Than, Less Than, Equals activities


Kindergarten Math Centers — see the full blog post at this link.


Lasso a 4/4 Measure Music PDF Freebie, answer key provided


March theme graphing math center activity — instant download at this link 


Reading and Math Rodeo free sample instant download PDF


Mother’s Day Graphing math center activity — instant download at this link 

music beat game

Free Music Beat Game shared on this math page as music involves math!


Nine times magic trick download in our free eMember area, see the blog post here


Free non-standard measuring K printable with math center activities

patterning-free-work-pages-and-activities (1)

AB patterns and ABC patterns work pages and pocket chart cards with a space theme freebie.


Primes, squares, composite, and factor pairs free PDF


Robot Skip Counting by ones, fives, and tens matched with multiplication facts Easel and Google Slides Freebie


Skip counting puzzles with a robot theme, instant download at the post.


Skip counting puzzles with a wildlife theme, instant download at the post.

valentine-skip-counting-and graphing-free-instant-download

Skip counting and graphing with a Valentine theme, instant download at the post.


Free soccer theme chatterbox and number roll activities printable, download at the blog post. 


Time to 5 Minutes Clock Google Slides Activity Free

hearts and Valentine’s matching activities printable

Valentine matching activity for 2 years old and up, free instant download.