On Tuesday morning, Oakview Elementary School's first-graders made the 100th day of school unlike any of the previous 99.
The students spent a couple hours doing fun 100th day-themed activities and games while learning a lot about numbers along the way.
Oakview's 100th day was the brainchild of math teacher Adrienne Boucher, who proposed the idea to the school's fellow teachers a few months ago.
“I suggested the activity and to set up stations throughout the school,” Boucher said. “I asked who would be interested and all of the first-grade teachers were interested in doing it. So I let them pick what activity they wanted to do.”
With all of the teachers collaborating on different activities for the students, 100th day was born. Each of the first-grade classes took turns rotating around to the different classrooms in the building. Each classroom had a different activity or game that revolved around the number 100. The groups would spend 15 minutes in a class before moving on to the next classroom.
One of the more popular games of the day involved a large grid of 100 squares with numbers hidden behind them in order. Students were asked to go up to the board and find a random number that was chosen for them. The game became exciting as students cheered on their peers as each class tried to guess as many numbers as they could within 60 seconds.
Being able to count and find numbers was far from the only lesson of the day. The first-graders learned a lot about counting in multiples of five and 10 as well. One game had the students counting by tens as they moved around a classroom or passed around a ball in a variation of hot potato.
Boucher explained that developing activities for the students to take part in was only half the challenge in planning 100th day. She said it was equally important that the lessons taught fell in line with the common core curriculum dictated by the state of New Jersey. The curriculum for first-grade emphasizes the ability for a first-grader to understand whole numbers in groups of one and 10.
“We wanted it to go with the common core standards for first grade, so we kind of separated that into our stations,” she said. “We didn't have much time, but in 15 minutes the kids can grasp the activity they were doing and complete it.”
Beyond the classroom activities, the students also got into the spirit by wearing shirts and hats with the number 100 on them. In addition, Boucher’s math classes created posters with different "100" themes. One poster she hung in the hallway had the number 100 with 100 different items glued on to the posterboard.
While the students enjoyed the games and having fun with their classmates, Boucher noted that the most important part of the day was that they were learning, even outside of the activities. Being able to use the numbers in everyday life is ultimately the goal for these students.
“They're discovering on their own,” Boucher said. “They're finding their own way on how they can make 100.”