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November 5, 2014 50 Days of School with a 1950s Sock Hop By Meghan Everette
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    How can it be that we have reached the 50th day of school already? We often celebrate the 100th day of school, but why not add pizazz to the halfway point? There are many fun ways to count, dance, and sing your way into the next 50 days, but our first grade loves the 1950s sock hop on day 50.

    1950s dress upStudents kick off the 1950s vibe with fun costumes and additions to their uniform. Our students have to stick to their uniform, but they are able to slick back their hair, pop collars, and roll up their pants. Some of the girls throw a scarf in their hair, or around their neck with a cardigan. If your school does not have uniforms, kids can really get in the spirit with poodle skirts and leather jackets.

    1950s Dress Up Day Letter1950s Day Coloring Page

    One of our standards is to recognize the differences in technology and transportation over time. Investigating the 1950s, which is not so far removed from today, allows a good chance for students to see how items have changed over time. We usually look at the very first phone or car, so seeing how those changed in the 1950s and then today is powerful. After watching some short videos on the 1950s, students use their knowledge and clues to cut out images and put them on a T-chart.

    1950s T Chart Working on a t chart 1950s then versus now images

    I like brain breaks to energize my students in our long, learning-intense mornings. On the 50th day of school I pulled some video clips online to teach "The Bop" and other 1950s dances. My students loved learning how to do the moves, but really, they just love dancing and bopping around the room for a few minutes.

    Learning to dance

    Other activities for the day include counting to 50, writing to 50, and playing skip-counting games. We stand in a circle and each child says the next number in sequence. It is a great point in the year for this quick check on how students are counting. Older students celebrating the 50th day might count by 50s.

    Skip counting to 50Crack the code 50

    Finally, students enjoy a sweet treat in the form of a root beer float. We follow directions to make the float and then put the steps in order for a sequencing activity. The floats are tiny and only take a few minutes, but the connection to sequence and time order words sticks with them long after the shake is gone.

    Little celebrations worked into the year make each day special for students. Something small that doesn’t detract from the rest of the learning day can help students enjoy school and make connections. They might not remember having to rewrite their backwards numbers during math, but you know they will remember the day the teacher wore a poodle skirt and they learned to bop — even when they are 50!


    1950 coloring


    What ways do you make everyday a celebration in your class?


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