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January 8, 2014 100th Day Ideas and Freebies By Lindsey Petlak
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    We all know that the 100th day of school is a special time for celebration in the younger elementary grades. Since I teach upper elementary students however, I have typically not participated in 100th day activities . . . until last year. In our school, each upper grade class is paired with a lower grade elementary class to participate in weekly and/or monthly activities together. My class collaborated with our kindergarten buddy class to make the 100th day celebration beneficial for all. See how my older students took on leadership roles and provided educational hands-on activities for their little buds!


    Older students were given the leadership opportunity to be on a celebration planning committee. My class helped set up, run, and clean up the stations on the day of the celebration. The students who chose to be on the planning committee donated their recess time for nearly two weeks to brainstorm, plan, and prep all activities that took place that day. Once the big day arrived, our entire class cooperated together to be upper grade leaders and make the 100th day of school a celebration the kindergarteners would never forget!

    Students planned activities (with guidance from teachers) in order to provide activities that involved multiple intelligences, subject areas, and social interactions.  See what we planned and try some with your class this year!

    100th Day Poetry: Early literacy and fluency through poetry is key in the lower elementary grades, so our students searched in books and online for poems to use with their buddies. They made sure they had kindergarten sight words in mind and chose pieces that were not too long. Some even had picture cues above words to help. On the day of the party, older students read the poem to their buddy first, then practiced together with their younger buddy, and finally allowed the kindergarten student to practice on his or her own for fluency and accuracy.

    100th Day Stories: Similar to the poetry station, our older students found books on the number 100 and 100th day of school in our library and online. Some students even wrote their own. Students took this opportunity to practice and demonstrate their own fluency and accuracy skills by reading aloud to their buddies during the celebration. Older students even wrote their own comprehension questions to discuss with their kindergarten buddies once they finished reading.  


    Let the Scholastic Book Wizard help you and your students find great books to share on this special day. Choose from over 29 books listed using the Book Wizard.

    BrainPOP Jr. 100 Video and Activities: We integrated multi-media technology by running a BrainPOP Jr. station on the kindergarten classroom interactive whiteboard. An older student ran the station by cueing up the “100” video and pausing it throughout for discussion. Finally, students participated in the coordinating BrainPOP Jr. “100” vocabulary activities and games online.


    100th Day Dot Art: BINGO markers are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G for so many uses, especially with younger students. One station my older students created was a 100th Day Dot Art center. The kindergarten children made a picture using 100 dots (with the dot markers). What they created was amazing! This activity helped the kindergarten students count to 100 by ones by keeping track of each dot they made.

    One of my favorite 100th day dot art projects is filling a gumball machine with 100 dot gumballs. Kids love it!  Get the free gumball machine template from Kinder Alphabet for your own art projects.


    100 Exercises: Our students teamed with our PE coaches to plan a series of 100 exercises to get our kindergarten buddies moving! We kept the exercises fairly simple so that they would be suitable for our younger buddies. Older students took turns demonstrating the next exercise move and counting to 100 in different ways for each exercise (counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, etc.). It was fun for all, and helped get any ants out of our little buddies’ pants after participating in less active stations.


    100th Day Snacks: All of the fun activities really worked up our students' appetites! We provided ten different types of dry (allergy-free) snack mix items to create a 100th day snack with our students. In small groups, each child took turns contributing ten pieces of each snack mix item until they had created a 100-piece trail mix. After counting and mixing, students ate their special treats. Items we provided for the mix included different nut-free cereals, marshmallows, chocolate chips, raisins, pretzels, M&M's, and more!  We used the planning page you see FREE from Little Miss Kindergarten. Be sure to adhere to any school/district food use rules and check your allergy list before engaging in this activity with your class.

    100th Day Museum: Get parents involved by asking them to contribute to your class 100th Day Museum! Send a baggie home with each child and attach a note asking parents to fill the bag with 100 small items (to fit inside the baggie). Examples include paper clips, BINGO chips, snack mix items (see above for ideas), crayons, marbles, rubber bands, etc. Students put their names on the baggies and display their collection of 100 items on a shelf, countertop, or other display area that you designate as your 100th Day Museum. Take time to let each child to explain what they brought and why they chose that item.

    With their older buddies, the kindergarten students practiced different ways of counting their 100 items (counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, etc.). See a great example of a 100th Day museum display from South Daytona Elementary School below. What ways have you found to successfully display your 100th Day Museums? Please share!


    100th Day Resources JACKPOT: Whether you’re planning a 100th day celebration on your own or collaborating with a buddy class, you’re sure to find whatever you need (and more!) with this TREASURE TROVE of 100th day freebies gathered and shared by The Classroom Creative. I just found this master list of activities and it’s given me so many great new ideas for the celebration this year! Need 100th day bulletin board ideas? The Classroom Creative has you covered there, too. Just check out their bulletin board and classroom decorations ideas to get your creative wheels spinning and build excitement for the big day!


    Try involving your upper elementary students by teaming with a younger grade to celebrate the 100th day of school. It takes a load off of the buddy class teacher and provides great leadership opportunities for your older students! Please share any fantastic 100th day of school activities you’ve had success with in the past.


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Susan Cheyney