One of my favorite school celebrations is the 100th day of school! In years past, I set up 10 stations which kids rotated through every 10 minutes for a total of...you guessed it, 100 minutes!!! In 1st Grade, it worked well enough. And while many of the kids being the flexible, lovely children they were, could care less that they weren't always able to finish one of the stations before being shuffled along to the next, it was always a personal point of frustration/disappointment. Enter the disastrous 100th Day of my first year as a Kindergarten teacher. Am I being a little dramatic about the disaster that this 100th day was? Maybe...but that's a moot point because I am NEVER, EVER doing stations again with my kinders! Did my kids enjoy themselves? They sure did! Did I? Absolutely NOT!! What fun is the 100th Day if I can't enjoy the festivities with my kinders?!
So I decided to upgrade the day to ensure a good time for ALL. And I am happy to report that the day was a success! On the 99th day of school, we read, The Night Before the 100th Day of School. Everyone was excited to bring in their 100th day projects to share with the class the next day.
On the 100th day of school, students proudly marched their projects into the classroom and we created a museum display that spilled out into the hallway. We spent some time doing a "museum walk," to see all of the creative 100th day projects in the Kindergarten hall. Among them were Fancy Nancy with 100 bows (painted bow-tie pasta), a robot with 100 buttons, an igloo crafted using 100 marshmallows, and candy rainbows made from rainbow colored Twizzlers.
Later that morning, we did a science experiment that my best friend, Archana, shared with me. First, we made predictions about how full a cup with 100 drops of water would be. Then, we got to work in small groups to test our predictions. We were surprised to find that the cup was mostly empty...so different from our predictions.
After lunch, we read 100th Day Worries...one of my favorite 100th day of school stories!!!
Next, we made gumball machines with 100 gumballs (fingerprints). I set up 10 tables around the room with different colored ink pads. At each table I placed a number from 1-10 to help students figure out where to go next. They were instructed to add 10 gumballs at each table. I was really impressed with how well my students followed directions for rotating around the room (especially in figuring out that from table 10, they moved on to table 1).
We had practiced counting to 10 many times before, so it was an easy task to help them figure out the total number of gumballs they would have in their 100th day gumball machines (10 gumballs at each of 10 tables, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100!!).
All in all, the 100th day of school was a hit! Replacing the stations with a selection of fun 100th day activities allowed me to strike a balance between fun, organization, and control and actually enjoy the day with my students. The 100th Day of School, version 2.0, was a small victory...but I'll take it!