100th Day Questions (Again)

Last year I made a jump down to primary after teaching “big” kids for the previous 9 years.  When I last taught 1st graders there was no such thing as celebrating the 100th Day of School.  So when that day came near, I began to consider (like I do with everything else that fits into the “it’s-what-we-do” or “it’s-the-way-it’s-always-been-done” category) what we should (or shouldn’t) do on this day in Rm. 202.  I asked many of my own questions, as well as having conversations with others who were asking the same things.

We ended up deciding on taking on a pretty big challenge in our classroom to write 100 blog posts, and secondly to try to read 100 books.  It was a great day of fun, learning, stretching our brains, working together, solving problems and really figuring out just how big 100 is!  It took us all day, but we made our goal of all of those blog posts and boy, were we proud!

So…as we near the 100th day again (next Thursday!), I’m asking 100th Day questions again.  If I have certain thoughts and feelings about it in regards to 1st graders, how do those apply when I’m now teaching those friends as 2nd graders?  Unlike last year, I decided to take that question to my kiddos.

I explained my thinking, and we talked about what we should do; probably our challenge should be bigger than the one we took as 1st graders, right?  We decided to brainstorm all of our smart ideas (thanks Landen for volunteering to be our recorder!) and then whittle them down from there.

Here’s our list:

IMG_0114-min

While it’s true that there are no “bad” ideas when you’re brainstorming, we did agree to only add things that we thought would truly be challenges for us, and not just things that were “fun” or “cute.”  I’d say that they did a pretty good job of coming up with some fun and meaningful choices.  But how would we decide which of those were the ones we end up doing?

We are currently in an opinion writing unit and I took this as a great opportunity to continue to hone our skills of sharing our thoughts, giving strong reasons and relevant evidence.  So, kiddos were asked to write me a letter (which we’ve also been practicing) to tell me their top 3 choices, along with 3 good reasons why they want to do those things on our 100th day.  What a meaningful and engaging way to put all of our new skills to work!

We haven’t made any final decisions for our big day, but the front runners right now seem to be puzzles, the 100 dot design challenge (building), playing the 100 game (which is something we do regularly in math), and playing board games.  Can’t wait to see what we end up choosing, and then documenting what actually happens–stay tuned!

I’d love to hear about your 100th day questions and thoughts!  Leave me a comment and let’s chat about it!

9 thoughts on “100th Day Questions (Again)

  1. I love how you’re questioning this again. Can I ask: why are you choosing to celebrate this day with Grade 2? What are the curriculum expectations? Our curriculum has students counting up to 200 in Grade 2.

    After last year, I decided not to count the days. I’m teaching Kindergarten this year, and our students are just developing their number sense. 100 is way more than where many of them are at right now. We celebrate numbers in different, meaningful ways everyday. After last year, I don’t know if I would do the 100th day again. I wonder what others think.

    Aviva

    • Aviva,
      Thanks for reading, for commenting, for starting the conversation in the 1st place, and for asking some great questions. I have to be honest with you–there are not many reasons that I was even thinking about the 100th day this year except that others were talking about it. And that’s exactly the thing I say I don’t like to do! UGH! As far as our curriculum, we did have some focus on 100 earlier in the year when we were working on place value, and this past quarter we added and subtracted within 100, but now we’re moving on to computation up to 1000 from this point forward (and in no year have I ever actually counted the days; someone just told me it was the 100th day next week!). We are working on money right now, which has a connection (sort of) with 100 cents equaling a dollar, but really beyond that, 100 is not a big number to 2nd graders anymore. You’re right at ask why we’re (or I’m) celebrating it. I remember some comments on your post last year that described it as a rite of passage in kindergarten, which I guess I kind of get; marking the FIRST 100 days you’re in school can be a big deal. But when you’re a 2nd grader and you’re on your 3rd 100th day, guess the 100th day isn’t really a thing. Man…I am really feeling wishy-washy in my thinking about this now. I want to be purposeful and smart in my plans–as I strive to be every day–and this day is really frustrating to me because I feel like I end up being a follower instead. In many ways I still have a hard time being eloquent in the reasons why I don’t participate in what others are doing. There are 5 sections in our grade level this year, and it’s super hard if/when I am the 1 class not doing something, you know? What’s your situation? Are you the only one in your grade level? What do your fellow teachers do with the 100th day?
      Jen

      • Jen, it sounds like you’re starting to question the 100th day altogether. I think that’s okay. I’m one of 5 Kindergarten teachers at my school. I’m really not sure if anyone’s celebrating the 100th day. My DECE (partner) and I spoke about this though, and decided that the day doesn’t currently work best for our students, so we’re not going to celebrate it. Most teachers do the crowns, crafts, and exercises popular for the day … but again, is this the reason to celebrate it? I like to refer to myself as an “educational troublemaker,” and in this case, I think it’s okay to be one. What do you think? I’m curious to hear what you decide to do.

        Aviva

        • I like that title–educational troublemaker–and I would probably say I’m one of those to some small level. Those things you mentioned are commonplace around our school, too, and are not things I would do on a typical day and so why on this day?? In some ways the fact that I’m spending so much time on thinking about this rather than working on something else (either for home or school or whatever) is kind of silly. I am still gonna let all of this roll around in my head for the next couple of days, and like with many things, I’ll probably talk to my kiddos about it, too, and see what they think. They really are wise beyond their years and will probably have a really good take on what we should do….
          Jen

  2. Pingback: Rethinking the 100th Day: Rm. 202 Weighs In | 20somethingkids and 1kookyteacher

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