For 28 years, I have shepherded many children through school days — morning routines, buses and carpools, homework and parent-teacher conferences, AND… the 100th Day of School every year. The projects and the math, the show and tell, and even, a couple of aha! moments when a child “gets” the idea that 10 groups of 10 make 100. We’ve utilized many different objects to share 100 with teachers and classmates. We’ve used paperclips linked together (one girl even asked to get colored paperclips so she could make a chain of 100 paperclips with 5 groups of different colors). We’ve used marshmallows, pennies, M&M’s, pebbles, orthodontia rubber bands (those teeny, tiny ones), Q-tips, leaves, and once, 100 pictures of ladybugs that a 5th grader found online.
One of my creative sons, Freddy, had the best 100th Day of School ever when he was in second grade. His brain is unique. He sees the world through an autistic window and while his interactions with the world are always interesting, his brain is a whirl of brilliance. He creates and builds and asks deep questions and has the best sense of humor, though he doesn’t see the humor until others react. A quick wit. As you can imagine, Legos, train tracks, and anything to do with boards and tape and tools and glue
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When Freddy was in 1st grade and the 100th Day of School rolled around, it was a no brainer to decide to take 100 Legos to school. But he wasn’t satisfied with counting out 100 Legos into a baggie. I tried to get him to make groups of 10 of different colors or 10 different shapes to no avail. He had to BUILD with one hundred Legos. This was his creation. He had counted out one hundred Legos ahead of time, but neither I, nor the teacher actually counted the Legos… he is renowned for rebuilding EVERYTHING he works on…. many times, so I’m fairly certain that this creation does not have exactly 100 pieces. But he was SO proud of it and his teacher built on his self-esteem.
The next year in Freddy’s second grade, for some reason, I missed the notice from his teacher about 100th Day, so he did not have anything. Freddy’s teacher pulled me aside when I was doing pick up that afternoon and she was giggling so hard, she could hardly talk. She said she’d been breaking out in laughter off and on all day since circle time.
They had been sharing the 100th Day things that each student brought and when it came to Freddy, instead of saying that we forgot, he told her that he had 100 dinosaur sounds in his throat. She said it was SOOOOO hard not to laugh out loud. She worked with him and they agreed that he would do 10 sounds at a time, then let another friend share, then he could do 10 more. She said she wouldn’t swear by it, but she is fairly certain that there was not a single duplicate sound. She said there were squawks and squeaks, clicks and caws, roars and whines and whinnies, a couple of underwater-type sounds, and a few whistles and clucks and crows. She said the other students, bless their hearts, sat and listened and even asked questions about the different beasts. They made it to 100!
And the teacher chuckled for the rest of the day.