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100th Day of School

As many of us prepare to celebrate 100th Day of School this week - and throughout the coming weeks - I thought I would share a little bit about ways we celebrate in our Third Grade classroom!  (Pictures are from years gone by... but we'll be doing these things on our big day Wednesday this week!)

Step One:  Books

I pretty much ALWAYS start with books, beautiful books!  For this year's festivities, I selected these fun read-aloud titles:
100th Day of School - picture books + activities + STEM + STEAM
We had three read-alouds to break up the crazy-time, which was just perfect.  To add a nice transitional bonus, each book also led into various activities that I had planned for the day.

100 Days of Cool by Stuart J. Murphy
The 100th Day of School by Angela Shelf Medearis
The Night Before the 100th Day of School by Natasha Wing

Step Two:  Yummy Snacks + Meaningful Activity = A Fun Way to Learn

Our 100th Day of School fell on the Tuesday after Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, so a chunk of my Monday was spent preparing baggies of Hundred Handful Snacks.  (Helpful hint:  I also bring extras of each ingredient in case students need a few more to complete the Wacky 100th Day Pizza activity successfully.)
100th Day of School - picture books + activities + STEM + STEAM + Math + ELA
Students used the snack to plan and create a pizza that uses fractional proportions of each ingredient.

This activity is aligned with CCSS 3.NF.A.1 Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.

It was especially fun to see the many diverse approaches students took to sort the snacks!
100th Day of School - picture books + activities + STEM + STEAM + Math + ELA

Step Three:  Dress for the Occasion 

Oh dear.  This is most certainly not my best look, but I must admit - it may very well have been my most comfortable outfit all year!  The grey wig was a little itchy, but the sensible shoes and cozily shapeless skirt and sweater compensated.

I wish you could have seen the students' self-portraits of themselves at 100 - cutest little things ever!  Especially hilarious:  the randomly placed wrinkles, like little squiggly things dotted upon their sweet centenarian faces.  We coupled the self-portraits with an interactive foldable activity that also served as a prewriting graphic organizer for their personal narratives "Me at 100."  Super cute display in the hallway, and I rather hated having to take them down a few days ago!
100th Day of School - picture books + activities + STEM + STEAM + Math + ELA

Step Four:  STEM Activities are Always a Hit

One of the favorite activities all day was "Build a Structure with 100 Cubes."

If you don't have sugar cubes, you could use Unifix cubes, Snap Cubes, or other small cube manipulatives.  I prefer the sugar cubes, even though they're a bit messy, because they're just nice straightforward cubes.  They can be a tad expensive, but having students work in teams cuts the cost, as does buying the sugar cubes in the largest box available.  (A 2-ound box of sugar cubes typically contains 252 cubes.)

This is a fun team-building (literally) project that challenges students to use most of the Mathematical Practices.  The focus concept is to develop an understanding of area and its relationship with multiplication, but as I walked around the room, I noticed students employing other standards as well.  Again, it's always so much fun to see all of the different strategies!

Before we start, I like to review arrays on the board, discussing a variety of arrangements and modeling how to sketch them as we chat.  We also review how to represent an array as a multiplication equation.

100th Day of School - picture books + activities + STEM + STEAM + Math + ELA
I put the rules for the activity under our document camera so that all students understand my expectations for this activity.  Beyond these few rules, teams really get to be as creative as they like!

I keep these rules up throughout the project for easy reference.

Then the real fun begins!  First, students count out 100 sugar cubes.

Next, teams work together to plan their array on their base.  I provide a paper plate as a base to help prevent "Sugar Cube Sprawl."  It also makes cleanup that much easier!

Students next replicate the array they've built on their base by sketching it on their recording sheets.  (Although students work together as teams, each student is responsible for project notes and observations on his/her own recording sheet.)   Through recording specifics about their project, discussing their findings with their teammates, and noting their observations, students develop and deepen their understanding of the relationship between area and multiplication.

This activity is aligned with CCSS 3.MD.C.7.A Find the area of a rectangle with whole-number side lengths by tiling it, and show that the area is the same as would be found by multiplying the side lengths.

100th Day of School - picture books + activities + STEM + STEAM + Math + ELA

P.S. You can get the printables, teacher notes, and more from our 100th Day of School Celebration in this packet here.  I've cut the price for the months of January and February!
100th Day of School - picture books + activities + STEM + STEAM + Math + ELA
I hope your 100th Day of School is lots of fun!