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Thursday, January 31, 2013

100 Ways to Celebrate 100 Days

I'm challenging myself to name 100 ways to celebrate 100 days.  So, here goes . . .

  1. Estimate how far 100 feet is, student feet, that is. Using sticky notes with their names on them, have your kiddos place their notes where they think 100 feet from the classroom door will be.
  2. Have your students trace the outline of their shoes on construction paper and cut them out.  Then line them up, heel to toe in the hallway to determine the correct answer. Give a certificate to the student(s) who came the closest to the correct distance.  
  3. If your students are capable, have them figure out how many construction paper feet each one needs to make using operations.  If they are not able to do that much math, have them count off by 2s, making tally marks or holding up fingers to track how many times they gave the next number in the skip counting, thus determining how many sets of footprints to make.
  4. Give each student a 1 quart ziplock bag to take home.  Direct them to find 100 of the same item to put in the bag and bring them to school on the 100th day.  Stress that all items must fit in the bag and that are dear or valuable are to be considered carefully as their collections will be manipulated during the day.  Thus, there is the risk that breakables could be broken and valuables lost.  My personal preference is that they not bring in food that will attract bugs or vermin.
  5. Read 100 Hungry Ants, by Elinor J. Pinczes.
  6. Save the ads from your Sunday newspapers and bring them to class.  Challenge your students to find ONE item they could buy if they had $100 without going over $100. Ask them to record their purchase on a $100 bill representation.
  7. Then ask your class to find 2 items they could buy without exceeding their $100.  Again they should record their purchases.
  8. Repeat the task with as many numbers as you deem appropriate.  I recommend 4, 5, and 10, at the least.
  9. Bring in 3 jars (mayonnaise jars work well) that you have filled with a collection of objects. Make 1 jar = exactly 100.  Make the other jars greater than and less than 100. Ask your students to vote for the jar they think has exactly 100 objects.  Near the end of the day, count the objects in each jar to determine who selected the correct jar. Give certificates to those who guessed correctly.
  10. Have your students determine the year in which they will turn 100 years old.                          
  11. Discuss signs of old age.  Have your students draw a picture of themselves as they will look at 100.  For extra effect, have them crinkle the paper after their drawing is complete to make their faces look wrinkled.
  12. Read Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten, by Joseph Slate.
  13. Ask your students to write a paragraph about what they think they will be doing when they are 100 years old.
  14. Prior to 100th day, begin compiling a list with your students of 100 words they can read and write.  On the 100th day, have a spelling bee using those words.  For older students, challenge them to name 100 words that pertain to a specific subject (science, math, social studies, food, nouns, verbs, ...).  Use those words for the spelling bee.
  15. Promote team work by providing several 100 piece jigsaw puzzles.  Divide the class into equal small groups; then give each group a puzzle to complete.  Certificates to those who finish first! 
  16. Thumbs up to thumbprints!  Using a stamp pad, their thumb, and a marker, students will print their thumb on paper 100 times.  Each time they make 10 thumbprints, they should stop printing and use the marker to circle that group of 10.  Encourage them to label each set with the appropriate decade.
  17. Calculate what year it will be 100 years from now.  Ask each student to draw and describe something that schools will have then that they do not have now.  Collate their pages and illustrations into a class book.
  18. Give each student a 10 x 10 grid.  Flip a penny 100 times, recording H (heads) or T (tails) on the grid cells.  
  19. Calculate how many Tails appeared in #18; calculate how many Heads came up.  
  20. On another 10 x 10 grid, have students record the numbers that come up as they roll a die 100 times.  
  21. Have your students graph the results of #20.
  22. Read 100 Days of School, by Trudy Harris.
  23. Have small groups of students make trains with unifix cubes.  Each train should be exactly 100 cubes long.  Compare the trains.  Are they all the same length?  If not, which one is correct?  The only way to figure that out is to break the trains into equal lengths (I recommend 10).  Give certificates to the students who used exactly 100.
  24. Brainstorm a list of activities from the 1st 100 days that are memorable.  Limit your list according to the age and stage of your students.  Create a class graph of their favorite activities.
  25. Working with a partner, complete this writing activity:  If we had 100 _____, we would _____.  The partners write about their idea and then illustrate it.
  26. Another writing activity, perhaps more appropriate for older students:  Write about what it may have been like 100 years ago.  What would not yet be invented?  What would school have been like then?
  27. Read aloud The 100th Day of School, by Angela Shelf Medearis.
  28. Take a brain break and do 100 jumping jacks.
  29. Because the 100th day falls in Feb. in my district, I include a Black History activity. The challenge is to compile a list of 100 African Americans of note.
  30. Have a coloring race.  Give each students a 10 x 10 grid.  Using a die, each child rolls a number and then colors in that many squares.  Students should change colors for each roll of the die.  Play continues until 1 student reaches 100.  If you like, require the children to roll the exact number they need to complete the grid.  That is, rolling a 6 when you need 4 to finish will be disallowed.  They must roll exactly a 4 or a combination thereof.  Give the winner(s) a certificate and a pat on the back.  
  31. Another variation of the coloring race is to give each child 2 dice which they roll together.  The number of squares they get to color is the sum, difference, product or quotient of the 2 numbers.  It's your choice!
  32. After everyone has finished coloring their grid from above, have them cut the grid into the 100 squares.  Use the squares to create a mosaic picture.  This could be 1 huge, full class mosaic or each students could complete their own picture.
  33. Read The Night Before the 100th Day of School, by Natasha Wing.
  34. Hop on your right foot 50 times.  Then hop on your left foot 50 times.
  35. Create paper chains of exactly 100 loops.  Join them together with a distinctive loop and hang them around the room.  Now you can count by 100s!
  36. Sing the following song to the tune of Ta-ra-ra Boom De Ay:  It's the 100th day/ So shout, "Hip hip hooray!"/ We'll count and eat and play/ on the 100th day.   See all we've collected/ 100s on display/ Join in the fun and say,/ "Hooray for the 100th day!"
  37. Clip 100 paperclips together.  With a partner, measure things in the room.  Find 2 each of the following:  shorter than, longer than, and equal to the 100 chain.
  38. Have a 100 snack -- a pretzel stick and 2 round or oval crackers.  Tell you kiddos that it's a 100 snack, but they can't eat it until they figure out why it is a 100 snack.  (You may wish to discourage the breaking of the pieces into 1000s of crumbs!)
  39. Make 100 placemats and deliver them to a nursing home.  I guarantee they will be appreciated by the seniors.
  40. If your 100th day is near Valentine's Day, make 100 Valentine cards to send to soldiers who are deployed overseas.
  41. Enlist the P.E. teacher to make the children do 10 different in sets of 10 exercises.  For example, 10 sit-ups, 10 toe touches, 10 push ups, etc.
  42. Have the students estimate how long 100 seconds is.  The teacher uses a stopwatch, declaring the start time.  Students stand up when they think 100 seconds have expired.  The teacher may wish to note which student(s) were correct, if indeed, any were correct.  Repeat this exercise at various times throughout the day.  Hopefully, the children will get better at estimating the time.
  43. Read 100th Day Worries, by Margery Cuyler.
  44. Ask each student to list 5 things they are thankful for.  Display the lists together under the title, We are Thankful for 100 Things.  If you have more than 20 students, have each child name 4 things and complete the list with things you, the teacher, are thankful for.
  45. Using long strips of paper (adding machine rolls work great) and 2 different color markers, have pairs of students write the numbers from 1 - 100.  For example, 1 = red, 2 = blue, 3 = red, 4 = blue, ...  Pairing a student who is struggling with this with a more capable partner is particularly helpful.
  46. Have the children create a domino train with 100 dominoes.  Then have them watch as they fall down.
  47. Using Do-a-Dot paints, have your students make 100 dots on a piece of construction paper.
  48. Have each student graph the color distribution of #47.
  49. Students complete 100 math problems of whatever operation is most appropriate to the grade level.
  50. Dance for 100 seconds.
  51. Read Lester L. Laminack's book, Jake's 100th Day of School.
  52. Using Froot Loops, create a 100 loop necklace.  Students should use 10 loops of 1 color and then switch to another color for the next ten.  Yarn works well for the chain.
  53. Give small groups of children 100 paper cups.  Ask them to build a wall or structure with the cups.
  54. Have the children add their ages together.  Did the sum equal 100?  Was it larger than 100?  Was it smaller than 100?  You may want to ask your students to predict the answers to those questions before completing the computation.
  55. Give small groups 100 pattern blocks to share.  Together they should make a design. Take pictures of their designs and display the pictures in your classroom.
  56. Using the 100 collection the students brought from home, have them divide the objects into 2 equal groups.  Use a piece of construction paper folded in half to provide spaces for the groups.  Make note of how many objects are in each group. 
  57. Repeat #56, dividing the objects into 4 equal groups.  Note the number in each group.
  58. Repeat #56, dividing the objects into 5 equal groups.  Note the numbers.
  59. Clap hands 100 times.
  60. Read It's the 100th Day, Stinky Face! by Lisa McCourt.
  61. Give each student a 10 x 10 grid.  Have them write their first name, putting 1 letter in each square, repeatedly, until the grid is filled.  Students then choose a color for each letter and create a key.  They then color the squares according to the key.
  62. Collect the grid from #61 and combine them to make a large "quilt."
  63. Bounce a ball 100 times.
  64. Ask the music teacher to help celebrate 100 days by having the children strike percussion instruments 100 times in unison during music class.
  65. Give each student a 100 chart.  Direct them to color only the odd numbers. 
  66. Brainstorm a list of 100 things we do at school.
  67. Skip rope 100 times.
  68. Create a class book in which each student completes a page that reads, "Once I saw 100 _________."  You may wish to share some ideas before turning the students loose.  For example, Once I saw 100 ants in my lunch bag.  Students should also illustrate their page.
  69. Display a large 100 chart.  Ask the students how many numbers on the chart have the number ___ as a digit?  Repeat with other numbers for as long as is appropriate for the age of your students.
  70. Still using the 100 chart, ask how many numbers have 1 digit?
  71. How many numbers on the chart have 3 digits?
  72. How many numbers have 2 digits?
  73. How many numbers have a 5 in the ones place?
  74. How many numbers have a 5 in the tens place?
  75. Using 100 unifix cubes, make a pattern.
  76. Using rubber stamps, make 10 different patterns with 10 items in each pattern.
  77. Name 3 things you can eat 100 of at one time.
  78. Build the tallest tower you can in 100 seconds.
  79. Read Emily's First 100 Days of School, by Rosemary Wells.
  80. Write the number 100 as many times as you can in 100 seconds.
  81. Solve the math problems in these couplets:  100 thumbs working at the fair.  How many fingers are also busy there?
  82. Now try these couplets.  Some have math answers; some have common knowledge answers.  100 dogs with black & white spots.  If you add 1 more dog, what have you got?
  83. 100 shoes are on the stairs.  How many do we have if we're talking pairs?
  84. 100 flowers in the garden and 100 weeds.  What percentage of the whole did the gardener plant as seeds?
  85. 100 kinds of food to eat.  If you enjoy 3/4 of them, what number are a treat?
  86. 100 blades of a plant, green and thin, times hundreds more; what are you walking in?
  87. 100 pieces of sweet cherry pie.  If I keep 25 pieces, what fraction have I?
  88. Make a list of 100 animals.
  89. Have challenges between 2 students to see who can count backwards from 100 the fastest.
  90. Jump up and down 100 times.
  91. Build a shape with 100 blocks.
  92. Read Young Cam Jansen and the 100th Day of School Mystery, by David A. Adler.
  93. Have each child make a 100 Day crown.  Decorate it by punching out 100 holes with a hole punch.
  94. Using the letters in ONE HUNDRED, make as many words as you can.
  95. Make trail mix using 100 items of each ingredient.
  96. At a center, have 100 pennies.  Have the students sort them into shiny and dull piles.  Count and record the number in each pile.
  97. At the same center, have the children look for a penny with their birth year on it.  How many pennies did they look at before they found that one?
  98. Stand on 1 foot for 100 seconds without holding onto anything.
  99. Weigh each student's 100 collection.  Which collection weighs the most?  Which weighs the least?
  100. Sing this song --

Yahoo!  I made it.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Time for a Sale!

It's time for a special sale, teachers!

Buy two products from my TpT Store from 1.27.13 - 1.29.13 and I will email you a 3rd product of your choice for FREE!    The value of the free product must be equal to or less than the value of the purchased items.  After you purchase the 2 products, email me @ Include the title of the product you would like, your TpT username, the date of your purchase, and the email address to which you would like the free product sent. That's it!  

This offer is valid from 12:00 a.m. on Sun., Jan. 27, 2013 through 11:59 p.m. Tues., Jan. 29, 2013.  Times are Central Standard Time.  

Have you heard the latest buzz?  Mrs. Mc over at Buzz Buzz Buzz! is having a milestone giveaway.  More than 75 products are being given away.  Check it out!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Valentine's Day Syllables Center

As we all pull out our February files and begin preparing centers for the plethora of special topics in that month, I thought I would share about my syllables center for Valentine's Day.  

Friendly Frog is my students' syllabication friend.  He appears frequently in our centers, helping everyone learn the somewhat tricky rules for using syllabication skills in decoding and recording words.  For Valentine's Day, he is helping my students to focus on prefixes and suffixes.

Using these work mats, students sort Valentine cards.

There are 24 cards and a recording sheet, as well as labels for the center folder.  

This activity is aligned with the CCSS and is most appropriate for grades 1 - 3.  Did you know there are syllabication standards for EVERY elementary grade?  There are!  To help my class retain the syllabication rules, I have a permanent display of 16 rules. Naturally, they feature Friendly Frog and are available in Friendly Frog's Rules of Syllabication.

If you are interested in introducing Friendly Frog to your students, you can find these products in my TpT Store and my TN Shop.  Try them.  You'll like them.

Friendly Frog's products include:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

MLK, Jr. Day Poem & Timeline

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - a time to celebrate his work and his dream.

Those who follow my blog know that I often post poems and activities to go with them.  So, just in time for MLK, Jr. Day, I have a poem to share.

You can download a copy of this poem here.

My friend, Allison, helped create a nifty timeline of MLK, Jr.'s life. 

The aesthetics of this timeline are perfect for transporting you back to the 1960s; a time I remember but would sometimes like to forget.  I'm old enough to remember where I was when JFK and MLK, Jr. were killed.  Those are days I'd like to forget, but not the lessons they taught. 

In Dion's words ...

Anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people,
But it seems the good they die young.
I just looked 'round and he's gone.
Didn't you love the things that [he] stood for?
Didn't [he] try to find some good for you and me?

Indeed he did.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Do You Speak Math?

It's time for a guest post about the language of math.  Do you speak math?  More importantly, do your students speak math?  

Today’s guest post comes from Toni, an elementary school teacher with a  specialty in differentiated instruction and designing hands-on lessons that incorporate the multiple intelligences.  You can often find Toni writing for, where teachers can buy and sell their original lesson plans, worksheets, and more.  She is married to a middle school math teacher and is a mom to a mystery loving 7 year old sweetie-girl and a quirky little light saber toting 3 year old. 

The Language of Mathematics

The vocabulary of mathematics is a foreign language for students. Words like fraction, division, and multiplication are rarely used outside of the classroom. The more opportunities we give children to talk about math, write about math and listen to math vocabulary in context the more they are empowered to become successful young mathematicians.

Math vocabulary must be taught systematically and with purpose. New math vocabulary should be presented in context. Math themed picture books can be a fun and extremely effective way to introduce new mathematics concepts and vocabulary, especially for your more visual and verbal students.

Often students fail to remember new math vocabulary because they are unable to connect it to their world. Engage your students in a discussion about how a new concept is used in the world around them and create a class poster they can reference. It’s much easier for students to remember what division means when they can connect it to sharing cookies or dividing up a pizza.

All students, and especially younger students, need opportunities to say their new math vocabulary words aloud. Math songs using familiar melodies can be used to help students properly pronounce and remember new math vocabulary. The following example is sung to the tune of “Row, Row, Row your Boat”.
Mode, mode, mode’s the most.
Average is the mean.
Median, median, median, median...always in-between.

Once new math vocabulary has been properly introduced, it can be displayed on a math word wall. When displaying math vocabulary the use of symbols and pictures can be very helpful. For example, writing the vocabulary word perimeter around a picture of a fence or the word area on top of a grid helps students see what the words mean. These visual clues can help jog students’ memories when they forget the meaning of a word. 

Effective math word walls are interactive and should be used to revisit math vocabulary daily. The length of the review is not as important as the consistency. Five to ten minutes a day is sufficient to review math vocabulary. Quick word walls using math games can be a fun way to review. You can use various clue games and have students try to guess the word. Once students are comfortable with new math vocabulary, allow them to make up their own clues. Traditional word wall games can easily be adapted for use with math vocabulary.  Here are just a few math word wall games to get you started.

1.         Mind Reader:  Challenge students to “read your mind” and guess what math vocabulary
word you are thinking of as you give them clues.
2.         Riddle Me Math: I have no vertices and no sides. What am I?
3.         I Spy: I spy a word that is the name for a shape with four sides.
4.         Analogies: Addition is to subtraction as multiplication is to ___________.

Student math journals can also be used to give students the opportunity to take ownership of new math vocabulary.  To effectively 'own' a word, students should be able to restate its meaning in their own words, give practical examples of its use, and construct their own visual representation of the term.  Using the area and perimeter as an example, students may draw a picture of their dream tree house and then discuss how area and perimeter are used when building a tree house.  Students may add to their math journal as they develop a deeper understanding of the word.

The key to helping students develop a firm understanding of math vocabulary is to introduce it in context, connect it to their lives and provide daily opportunities for students to revisit and use it. Consistent use of math vocabulary will help create students who are comfortable with the language of mathematics!

Thanks for the great post, Toni!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

MLK, Jr. Craftivity

It's about time, teachers, to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

The dove is a symbol of both peace and hope. As such, it is a great symbol to honor Dr. King. Using the template that follows, have your students cut out a double copy of the dove. Glue the dove's body together, leaving the wings separated.  Gently fold the wings down on each side of the dove to simulate flight.  Color an eye on each side of the head.  Punch a hole and string yarn through it to allow the dove to be hung.  Hang the doves from the ceiling for a spectacular "peace rally."

You can find this craftivity, poems, teaching points, skill lessons, and other activities in my product, Poetry Possibilities for MLK, Jr. Day.  This template is available on Google Docs

Peace to all.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

HOTS for Hats

It's about time, teachers, ... for Hat HOTS.

While this volcano hat is very nice, it's not exactly what I had in mind for HOTS - Higher Order Thinking Skills.

It is so fun and rewarding to challenge your children to use HOTS when studying hats.  I'm referring, of course, to Bloom's Taxonomy. Following are a few of the ways I exercise their brain power.

Using my hat cards, I challenge the students to sort them in various ways:
  • men's hats/women's hats/unisex
  • safety/decorative/job identification
  • historic/modern day
  • similarities
    • baseball cap, baby's bonnet, & cowboy hat = protection from the sun
    • wizard's hat, witch's hat, & magician's hat = magic makers
    • Pilgrim's hat & Santa's hat = holiday head gear
    • jester's hat, crown, & knight's helmet = medieval hat wear

My enrichment students are asked to create their own sorts.    Then I require them to write about their thinking.  I up the ante for G/T students by asking them to create 3 to 5 different sorts with descriptions of their sorting properties.

Again using the hat cards, I challenge my students to make lists of hat opposites. Examples:
  • astronaut's helmet and diving helmet
  • mortar board and dunce's cap
  • bridal veil and top hat

Students pick 2 cards and tell why the hats may go together. Examples:

  • Top hat and fancy lady's hat - they might go to the symphony together
  • football hat and stocking cap - you could find them both at a football game in November

Make "Hat Words."  We start by generating a list of -at words.  Then we turn them into 'Hat Words" and write clues to their meaning.  Examples:
  • Hatmosphere - What do you call the blanket of air surrounding a hat?
  • Hatlas - What do you call a book of maps that show you where head coverings may be found?
  • Hattack - What do you call it when a hat tackles you?
  • Hattic - What is the room at the very top of a hat building?

As you can tell, my students and I really get into hats.  So throw your hat in the ring and join me in teaching a hats unit.  My unit, Hats!  Hats!  Hooray for Hats!, is available on TpT and TN.  There are 55 pages to this unit, which includes printables, manipulatives, centers, and activities.  It even contains my original poem.  Be sure to get it's companion product, Hat Idioms Book.  Check it out because it is FREE and is being used by upper elementary and even middle school teachers.

Until next time,...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hat Day Math

It's time to wish everyone a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It's also time to share more Hat Day ideas.

As promised, this post is focused on hat math.  Math topics in Hats!  Hats!  Hooray for Hats! include:
·  Counting                                
·  Computation
·  Graphing
·  Patterns
·  Venn Diagrams
·  Math Journal prompts
·  Sorting
·  Measurement
·  Money

This unit includes several printables that range from simple patterning

to higher order thinking skills.

This range in difficulty provides instant differentiation for your class.  Also included are math center activities and prompts for your students' math journals.

27 hat cards are included in both color and black & white.

The hat cards may be used in graphing and as the elements for Venn diagrams. 

Next time, I'll explore HOTS activities you could do with your class.  They are sure to put a feather in your cap with your students, parents, and administrators!