Tuesday, January 20, 2015


It's almost the 100th day of school!  I'm not sure exactly when the idea of celebrating the 100th day of school began but it certainly has become popular with elementary school teachers.  When I was an elementary school student, there wasn't a "100th Day Celebration".  Perhaps the "100th Day" caught on because it's a fun way to create hands-on learning experiences for children.

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Here are some of my "Station Ideas" for the 100th day festivities.  There's a freebie that can be downloaded at the end of this post.  Most of the ideas can be modified by using items you already have in the classroom in place of the ones I'll show you.  You'll need to stop at the bank and get a 100 dollar bill for one of the activities.  That's something teachers don't usually have on hand!  Additionally, you might need to purchase a few things at the store like sugar cubes, craft sticks, clothespins, and very small, plastic cups.

These activities are the "NO-MESS" variety.  No sticky glue to clean up, no spilled paint to wipe away, just good clean fun!  They don't require much space.  Student desks can be used as a work area for several of the activities.  

The children to rotate through the "100th Day Stations".  For this, strategically pair the children in advance of the activity.  If there's an odd number of children, put 3 children together in one group.  Be prepared to make quick changes if a student is absent the day of the activity.

The number of student pairs influences the number of stations needed.  One station is needed for every 2 children.  If there are 20 children, 10 stations are needed.

Before getting started, tell the children that it is not important to finish the task at their area.  This way, when it is time to rotate to another station, they'll be willing to move to the next station.  Emphasize that each pair is responsible for cleaning up before moving the the next activity.  In most instances, that will mean returning the materials to the same arrangement as they were discovered.  It will also be important to briefly describe each station and name the task involved. 

Consider the amount of time available in the instructional day that you plan to devote to the stations.  Space the time evenly within the rotations.  This way, every group will have the same amount of time to work with an activity.  If there are 10 stations and 7 minutes are allotted per station, it will take 70 minutes for all the rotations to be completed. 

Station 1"PAPER CLIP-Art"  Put 100 colorful paper clips out on a desk.  Children create a picture using the 100 paper clips.  Pairs can work together to make one picture or divide the paper clips (50-50) and make their own pictures.
It took 100 paper clips to make the girl in the picture.
Station 2"Clothespin Fort"  You will need 100 clothespins and a box.  The goal is to fit 100 clothespins around the four sides of the box.  If there is not enough room, the clothespins need to be attached to each other.  This activity is great for fine motor development as well as an engineering task.  If a box is not available, use a yardstick to attach the clothespins with.
100 clothespins around a box.

100 Count Clothespin fort.  An engineering triumph!
Station 3"Cups n' Cubes"  This activity is best completed at a table.  Put 100 sugar cubes on a table.  Use 10 small plastic cups.  The cups in the picture are a 2 ounce size!  The children would need to put 10 sugar in each cup, then, count by tens to 100.  Add 10 more cups and the children will place 5 cubes in a cup and count by fives to 100.  (Math cubes could be used if sugar cubes are not available.)
Grouping 100 sugar cubes by tens.  Counting to 100. 

Ten cubes in ten cups.
The "cups n' cubes" activity above does not take long.  They could also make letters with the sugar cubes when they finish grouping and counting them.  These are the letters I would suggest the children make with the sugar cubes:  E, F, H, L, T, and Z.  Letter cards to display on the table are available here.

Station 4"100 Dollar Doodle"  A 100 dollar bill is needed for this . . . and trustworthy students!  Children make observations about the front and back of the 100 dollar bill.  Then they record their observations on the free printable.  Provide the children with a magnifying class so they can observe more details in the 100 dollar bill.  The picture shows an old 100 dollar bill.  We didn't have anything else on hand and I forgot to go to the bank to get a new one!  Later on, have the children cut out the "bill" that they drew, glue the blank sides together, and have their own "100 Dollars".  (That is if you're the "messy-glue" variety kind of teacher.)  
Children draw what they see on the FRONT and BACK sides of the 100 dollar bill.
Station 5  :  "Rubber Band Sculpture"  I collected cardboard paper towel tubes (NOT 100!).  I put 100 rubber bands out.  The goal is to attach paper towel tubes together using the rubber bands.  As it turned out, 100 rubber bands was too many for this.  However, the rubber bands could be used with other objects such as a collection of pegboards.  The goal could be, "Use 100 rubber bands with the pegboards provided."

Cardboard paper towel tube sculpture fastened with rubber bands

Station 6: "Beads n' Bags"  I had tons of these wooden beads.  I took three plastic sandwich bags and labeled one with an "A", one with a "B", and the third bag with a "C".  I put 100 beads in the "B" bag.  I put 80 beads in the "A" and 120 beads in the "C" bag.  The children need to find the bag that has 100 beads.  They take out the first bag ("A" bag) of beads and count them.  They try the next bag.  They stop when they find the bag with 100 beads.  For this activity, they need a carpet area or a table.  I would also give them small containers for grouping the beads by tens.  The plastic cups shown with the sugar cubes would also work for this activity.  At the end of all the rotations, the students are asked which bag had 100 beads.  The wooden beads can be substituted for anything you have on hand with a quantity of 300.
Beads n' Bags Counting Activity.  Which bag has 100?
Station 7"100 Penny Stack"  In Virginia, we teach coin values in terms of pennies as one of our measurement standards.  To reinforce the fact that a dollar is equal to 100 pennies, I incorporated this activity into a station.  I found 100 pennies and a one dollar bill.  The goal is to fit all 100 pennies on top of the dollar bill.
Stack 100 pennies on a 100 dollar bill.

Station 8"Craft Stick Shapes"  Make triangles, rectangles, and squares with 100 craft sticks.  Use ALL the craft sticks, then count the number of shapes made.  A table or carpet area is needed for this activity. 
Shapes made with 100 craft sticks.

Station 9"100 CVC Words"  One way to use the 100 words is to have the children read them, write them, and use them in sentences.  Place the words in a container for the children to withdraw from.  Once they pull out a CVC word card, they read it, write it on the board, and use it in a sentence.  They put the withdrawn words in another location so the next group at the station doesn't use the word again. 
100 CVC Words
Another way to use the 100 CVC word cards is to sort the words according to a designated attribute.  One possible attribute could be the medial vowel sound.  In this instance, there would be a five groups (A, E, I, O, U).  The sorting activity is a good back-up plan when you have additional groups to rotate to this station and the 100 words were used by the preceding groups.  
Sorting words according to their medial vowel.
The words have the consonant-short vowel-consonant pattern.  Sheets for the word cards are provided with my "100th Day" freebie.  I used yellow, orange, blue, red and green card-stock to get the colors shown above.  This gave me 4 additional sets of 100 words.  The extra sets are put in sandwich bags and added to the class treasure chest.  Some first graders will actually CHOOSE a bag of 100 words for a prize!
100 words with the consonant-vowel-consonant word pattern
Station 10"Make 100 Look Spectacular!"  A coloring sheet for the numeral 100.  The children use crayons to fill in the numerals.  This sheet is also part of my "100th Day" freebie.
Children decorate the 100 by coloring the one and the two zeros with crayons.

The above activities foster the following:  fine motor development, engineering, creativity and peer cooperation.  They also develop:  counting skills, shape recognition, a money value fact, and phonics.

Get the FREE "100th Day" sheets by clicking the image shown below.

Happy 100th Day!

Lessons by Molly © 2015  All rights reserved.


  1. These are some great ideas, thank you Molly!

    1. Thank you Tanta! We've had fun with many of these.

  2. how do you get the 100 word cvc list?

    1. Hi Jessica!

      I'm sorry it's taken me this long to respond to your question. Just click the image above the comments. It's the one that says, "100th Day Freebie". The CVC words are included in that file. I might mention that you'll need a membership to Teachers Pay Teachers as that is where the file is hosted. The membership is a free sign up!

      Here's the URL to the file that you can copy and paste into your browser: