If you have young children that are school age, you are beginning to hear rumblings around this time of year about the 100th day of school.
Even if your children are older and the days of elementary school are long gone, I am sure you have fond memories of supplying a collection of 100 things, sending in food for a 100 days snack, or volunteering to run a small group in your child’s classroom on that special day.
All the while, were you thinking, “What is the big deal about the 100th day of school?!”
This school celebration has become very popular in the last 10 years. Years ago, when I began teaching there were a few picture books written for young children about the topic – Miss Bindergarten’s Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten and Emily’s First 100 Days of School were among them, but now there are a plethora of literature for my kindergarten classroom including, but not limited to:
What is the big deal about this day?
Why as teachers do we ask you to provide all of this stuff and then come in and help us out? Now that I am both a teacher AND a parent of a kindergarten age student, I am both asking other families for a 100 collection and helping my son with his 100th day collection. And, in case you were wondering what the teacher’s kid brings, he picked 100 pieces of dog food. His reasoning? So he wouldn’t be tempted to eat them. I can’t argue with that logic! But I digress…
So why do we celebrate this day in such a huge fashion? Here are the top five reasons:
1. It’s a milestone for children (and teachers!):
Think about it… for children, especially young children and those in school full days for the first time, reaching the milestone of 100 days of school is a big deal. We talk about all of the learning we have done, and the learning yet to come. We discuss our favorite parts of school so far (recess, anyone?) and what we are looking forward to. We re-visit our hopes and dreams from the beginning of the year, and see if we are on our way to meeting those goals.
How many ways can you count to 100? In kindergarten, we focus on counting by 1s and 10s. Other grades spend time on 2s and 5s. As the children become older, they are adding and subtracting three digit numbers, and beginning multiplicative reasoning. 100 is a good, round number to focus on.
3. It’s a day that incorporates a number of math concepts:
Patterns, counting, sorting, measuring… you name it, and the concept can be utilized during this day.
4. It’s a way to combine all aspects of curriculum into a focused activity:
The 100th day of school is not only about math. We incorporate reading, writing, science, and social studies throughout the week leading up to and including the actual day itself. It’s a whole curriculum approach to learning, including the social piece of partner work and sharing collections.
5. And finally, it’s a lot of fun!
During our 100th day celebration, we play games, make pictures of ourselves at 100 years of age, eat snacks, create necklaces, glue 100 collections, and much, much more. The children and adults greatly enjoy this day, which combines a lot of fun with a lot of learning.