It’s a delight to see students working at figuring these grid problems out. At some point the lightbulb goes on and students see how the patterns governing counting by ones and by tens governs how the numbers are placed. These are among the most engaging activities I do with first graders.
Working with Base 10 Blocks on a grid is an invaluable precursor to doing problems like these. And these problems are themselves an excellent precursor to adding multiples of ten to a number.
There are also 8 jigsaw-type puzzles similar to that pictured in red here. Students try to arrange them into the original 10 by 10 grid they were cut out of...they are free to number the empty squares if they wish. These puzzles are meant to be copied onto cardstock, laminated, and cut into individual pieces according to the illustrations.
Some of the more difficult grid puzzles and all the jigsaw-type puzzles make excellent center activities.
Common Core Standards:
1.NBT.1: "Count to 120, starting at any numberless than 120..."
1.NBT.2: “Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones…”
Level: Grades K - 2
Length/Duration: 22 pages of student work, 3-4 days if done consecutively