March 1, 2023 | Becca Brasser
How much is 100?
The question occupied nearly the entire 100th Day of School in first grade. Students counted to 100 individually and collaboratively, by 1’s, 5’s, and 10’s. Every student used a collection of items from home or school to sort and count to 100. Some brought basketball cards, pennies, sequins, or beads. Some used shells, connecting cubes, or glass gems from the classroom. They organized their collections in groups of 10 to help them visualize and count to 100.
On the 100th day of school students also played games, do 100 jumps, filled in empty 100 charts with various drawings, created grids of 100 cubes, and more!
Collaboratively, the students made a huge paper chain of 100 links. As they completed links, they determined how many more would complete it: When 32 were done, they knew they needed 68 more. When 51 were finished, they needed 49 more.
A Finished Chain of 100 Links!
Another collaborative project was to build a structure with 50 cups + 50 wooden craft sticks = 100 pieces in all!
They came up with as many expressions for 100 as they can: 50 x 2, 99 + 1, 10 + 90, 200 – 100, 10 x 10, etc.
We know that children learn best and build understanding when they use their hands. They transition from concrete, hands-on experiences to abstract understandings. An understanding of the number 100 is an important benchmark in numeracy, and the 100th day provides a multitude of opportunities to experience that number in both concrete and abstract ways.