There is one day in Kindergarten more celebrated than any other holiday; birthdays can’t hold a candle to it, and Halloween is barely a blip on the radar in comparison.
I’m talking about the much-anticipated 100th Day of School! Starting on the very first day of each school year, lower elementary classrooms around the country carefully mark each and every day they spend in school until the 100th Day milestone arrives.
There is a lot of debate as to the origins and purpose of the 100th Day of School, from it being a powerful classroom math tool to it being nothing more than a fabricated “holiday” created for the purpose of selling stickers and trinkets.
I believe that, like so many subjects, it’s really what the teacher makes of it that is important. I have always used our 100th Day countdown as an opportunity to build rich math foundations in my young students. Our daily work with our number chart helped us learn to group by tens, solve simple algebra equations, identify numbers 1 through 100, count backwards, and understand important concepts, like: “ten groups of ten equals one hundred.”
This year, I spent the 100th Day of School in a kindergarten classroom where the teachers worked hard to strike a perfect balance between reinforcing math concepts and throwing a celebration. As the students moved through different activities, they excitedly counted by 10s, ate Fruit Loops, and proudly pinned their 100s Day badges on each other. I think that the 100th Day of School can help serve as an excellent opportunity to create a positive attitude towards math, and help young students experience all of the ways that math can be fun!