Zero Hero comes to our class on the 50th and 100th days of school. He is a mystery, no one has ever seen him, because of course, he is zero. Last year he left 100 footprints around our room, and where each set stopped there was a clue the kindergartners had to solve. We walked 100 steps to different places around campus, where they picked up different surprises Zero Hero had left for them. Then we all came back and had a 100-piece snack. Cindy Hanmann, Phoenix, AZ, Kindergarten
On the 100th day of school I do a probability lesson that my class always likes. Before we begin, I have them write down which number they think will come up most often when rolling dice. We roll a large die 100 times and tally which number it lands on each time. Then we total the tally marks to see which number was rolled the most. Then we check their predictions with the tally marks. Shari Lawson, Hampton, VA, First grade
Students bring 100 of something from home to class to share. We sort into categories first and sometimes we graph these. We practice dividing our collections into various groupings (e.g. five, ten). Then we stop and everyone does a quiet walk around the room to see what each item looks like in various numbers. My students' favorite activity is drawing a picture of what they imagine they will look like when they are 100 years old. Sometimes we turn this into a class book too. Nancy Latham, Chester, NH, Second grade
The class works together to cut out 100 kindergarten feet by tracing their feet on 6-by-9-inch pieces of construction paper. I precut ten pieces of paper in ten different colors. The children keep tracing and cutting until all the paper is gone. We tape the finished feet into groups of ten by color. Then the children sit in the hall in the spot where they think the feet will go. We line the feet up in the hallway to find out who was closest. Barb Mazzochi, Villa Park, IL, Kindergarten
In my first grade classroom, the children made a necklace using 100 beads. The children all started with ten beads in a cup. After placing all ten beads on the necklace, they were allowed to refill their cups nine times to make 100 beads. Tonya, NY, First grade
My class begins to bring in 100 food items for the local food bank a few weeks before school day 100. As the food items come in, we label each one with a number, happily waiting for that number 100! Christina, Warwick, NY, Kindergarten
In my first-grade classroom, we make eyeglasses shaped like the number 100, each child brings in some collection of 100 objects, and we spend the day counting and creating 100 collages. We listen to several stories about the 100th day and we end our day with a 100th-day party complete with cupcakes decorated with 100 jimmies! Alison Hague, Philadelphia, PA, First Grade
I have two different activities that I do with my children.
- For a 100th-day snack, I give each child a sugar cookie and yellow icing. They then write the number 100 on the cookie with the icing for a 100th-day treat.
- As a math activity, I give each child a piece of paper with five circles on it. I then pass out small treats such as M&M's, Goldfish crackers, and Fruit Loops. Using the snacks and circles we do counting activities. We first fill each circle with 20 items. Later we count by 5s and 10s. Each child fills a plastic baggie with 100 treats. I give them one more treat to make 101! My children have loved this activity year after year. Marie Dara, Meriden, CT, K-2
Give each child $100 in play money to spend and several catalogs to use. Ask the children to spend their money as they wish by making a list of what they purchased and a running balance. You can even have them figure out the tax. Students have imaginary shopping fun while doing math!
Miss Cochran, Scranton, PA, Fourth grade
Estimation Jars: Fill jars of different sizes with approximately 100 small objects, such as pennies, paper clips, pebbles, marbles, peanuts, etc. Put one type of item in each jar. One of the jars should have exactly 100 items. Then, during the day, invite students to come up and study the jars and write down their guess as to which jar has exactly 100 items in it. The winners get 100 of something you choose to award (e.g., 100 seconds of extra recess).
Measurement Activities: Split kids into teams of five, then have them investigate the following questions:
- How tall is a tower of 100 Legos?
- How long would a row of 100 Lincoln Logs be?
- How high is a pile of 100 pennies?
- How long is a path made of 100 sheets of paper?
- How far would a line of 100 students, stretched out from head to toe, reach?
Your class can probably invent their own measurement investigations just by looking around the classroom.
- Try to collect 100 DIFFERENT signatures.
- Set up a place for both adults and children to dip their hands in paint and put their "prints" on paper. Try to collect 100 prints.
- See how much 100 drops of water is, and then try to find objects like blocks, plastic eggs, etc. that will hold 100 drops.
Beanie Babies: Make the 100th day more fun for your students by asking them to bring in their Beanie Baby collections. Just send a letter to parents to let them know their kids may bring in as many Beanie Babies as they wish. (Make sure to keep a list of which Beanie Babies each child brings in.) Then try doing these activities as a class.
- Estimating: Ask the students to sit in a circle and put all their Beanie Babies in the center. Have children look at the pile, then go back to their seats and estimate how many there are. They can write their answers on small squares of paper. Then call all numbers starting with 1. When his/her number is called, each child goes up to the chalkboard and puts his number up next to the previous number in a straight row across the chalkboard. When everyone is finished, have the students reassemble in a circle.
- Counting: Divide the class into groups, then have each group count the Beanie Babies to see how many there actually are. Ask the first group to put the Beanie Babies into groups of two. When they are finished, have one student pick up the first group of two - the class counts "two," and the student puts the two Beanie Babies in a container or basket. Then he/she picks up the next group of two and the class counts "four." Continue in this manner until all the Beanie Babies are counted. Then check the chalkboard to see how well everyone estimated. Once you're finished, you can ask the class to count by 5s and 10s using the same method.
- Sorting & Classifying: Divide the class into five groups. Pass out the same number of Beanie Babies to each group. Have the groups sort and classify their Beanie Babies by color, shape, eyes, legs, size, etc. Each time a group sorts their Beanie Babies a different way, they raise their hands and are awarded a unifix cube. After a certain amount of time passes, each group can share the number of unifix cubes they have.
- Weighing: Divide the class into five groups and give each group a scale. Each student selects two Beanie Babies from his/her group. The students can draw and label these Beanie Babies on a premade blackline sheet. Then they can estimate which Beanie Baby weighs more by holding one in each hand. They should then weigh each Beanie Baby to see if they were correct. Select two more Beanie Babies and follow the same procedure. Estimate which two Beanie Babies might weigh the same. Weigh the Beanie Babies and record your answers.
Money Activity: Make a "catalog" by cutting and pasting together ads from Sunday newspaper flyers. Use clippings of things the children would love to shop for (toys, sports equipment, etc.). (You might also want to round off all the prices to the whole-dollar amount.) Then make a copy of the catalog for each child in the class, along with an "order form." To kick off the activity, tell the children they've each just won a $100 shopping spree at your department store, and they can buy anything they want - up to $100 worth of merchandise. The kids will love being able to pick out all the things they will "buy" with their $100. They can write down their choices and the prices on the order form, keeping a running total on a calculator as they go.
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8