How Should Schools Celebrate 100 Days of School? Educators Are Split (2024)

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See Also Educators are split on dressing up ... Dressing up like an old person is ageist and ableist (when they use any sort of assistive device). I always thought it was very strange to encourage children to mock the elderly. I admit, this is one of those dress-up days I just can’t get on board with, and I don’t care if it makes me a fuddy duddy. I agree with many critics that it seems like mockery. It’s especially problematic when kids wear fake nasal tubes, wheelchairs, walkers, or other adaptations that their own peers with special needs may use on a daily basis. BUT, frankly, my biggest issue with it is they squander a learning opportunity in favor of a major disruption. I’m a person who loves to dress up. I also have ADHD and my daughter is autistic and cannot deal with costumes much of the time. I think this kind of activity can exclude kids who are autistic, whose parents may not be available whether because of economic or mental health, or the parents have ADHD or a stressful job. Don’t add more to our day. Parent’s nightmare. What do the kids do whose parents/grownups can’t get them all fancied up with collections and costumes. Haves vs have nots. While I don’t find it offensive, as a first grade teacher I do find dress up days in general to be a nuisance. Nothing is taught or learned on dress up days because it’s all a huge distraction. The kids are feral. Props get lost or broken. Someone always ends up crying. It’s fun in theory, but a hassle in real life. Involve the elderly I really like the idea of inviting someone who is over 100 to talk about how the world has changed since he/she was in kindergarten. Inviting a 100 year to visit is a fantastic idea. Imagine what a person this age could teach these little ones!!! Extremely educational. We invited grandparents and great grandparents to the 100th day lunch. Everyone had a great time. We did all sorts of math together. What about the 101st day? We always celebrated the 101st day of school with 101 Dalmatians - wearing Dalmatian shirts, drawing on spots on faces, putting spots on a giant Dalmatian poster that was auctioned off to raise money for the school and watching the movie at the end of the day. Kids had collections of 101 objects, we did things like walking 101 steps, guessing how many steps it took to get to lunch, gym, the playground, etc. Whatever you do, incorporate math Why not counting for the very young students? Bring in 100 of something: cheerios, beans, whatever. For older elementary students: “here are four random numbers. Devise an equation that can make them equal 100.” I have always bought 100 munchkins at Dunkin’ Donuts, had the class count along as I transferred them to a large tray and then guessed how many each of them would get when we divided them up. I would write guesses on the board and then give everybody 1, then ask if there were enough to do two, etc. Get moving FAQs

Let’s face it: In the winter months, the school year starts to drag. That makes the 100th day of school a great time to pause and acknowledge students’ progress.

And by focusing on the number 100, it’s also an opportunity for teachers to reinforce math concepts, especially in the early grades.

But it turns out educators have some strong feelings about how schools should commemorate the 100th day.

Recently, Education Week shared on Facebook a piece from our archives about 100-day celebrations by Christina Samuels, a reporter covering special education who once dressed her son as an centenarian to honor of his 100th day of school. In addition to feeling inconvenienced by the experience, she said she “wasn’t sure what to think about canes and walkers used as props.”

Samuels’s story hit a nerve.

In over 250 comments on the post, educators shared what they like about 100-day celebrations, what they don’t like about them, and some fresh approaches to try. Below is a sampling of what they had to say.

Educators are split on dressing up

Lots of schools encourage students or staff to dress up as 100-year-olds on the 100th day of school—a move some say is fun and others find ill-advised, exclusionary, or offensive.

... Dressing up like an old person is ageist and ableist (when they use any sort of assistive device). I always thought it was very strange to encourage children to mock the elderly.

- Lisa Niezgoda

I admit, this is one of those dress-up days I just can’t get on board with, and I don’t care if it makes me a fuddy duddy. I agree with many critics that it seems like mockery. It’s especially problematic when kids wear fake nasal tubes, wheelchairs, walkers, or other adaptations that their own peers with special needs may use on a daily basis. BUT, frankly, my biggest issue with it is they squander a learning opportunity in favor of a major disruption.

- Leigh Bagwell

I’m a person who loves to dress up. I also have ADHD and my daughter is autistic and cannot deal with costumes much of the time. I think this kind of activity can exclude kids who are autistic, whose parents may not be available whether because of economic or mental health, or the parents have ADHD or a stressful job. Don’t add more to our day.

- Sarah Hempel Irani

Parent’s nightmare. What do the kids do whose parents/grownups can’t get them all fancied up with collections and costumes. Haves vs have nots.

- Sarah Brewer Thompson

While I don’t find it offensive, as a first grade teacher I do find dress up days in general to be a nuisance. Nothing is taught or learned on dress up days because it’s all a huge distraction. The kids are feral. Props get lost or broken. Someone always ends up crying. It’s fun in theory, but a hassle in real life.

- Jessie Kuhn

A less-problematic alternative that readers on Facebook touted is having students or staff dress like people who lived 100 years ago. (This can be a parent headache, too, though: It’s unlikely many families have flapper dresses and knickerbockers lying around.)

Involve the elderly

Some commenters on Facebook liked the idea of reaching out to those in the school community that are advanced in age and involving them.

I really like the idea of inviting someone who is over 100 to talk about how the world has changed since he/she was in kindergarten.

- Jason McCully

Inviting a 100 year to visit is a fantastic idea. Imagine what a person this age could teach these little ones!!! Extremely educational.

- Mary Jane Taormina Diaz

We invited grandparents and great grandparents to the 100th day lunch. Everyone had a great time. We did all sorts of math together.

- Christine Volker

What about the 101st day?

We always celebrated the 101st day of school with 101 Dalmatians - wearing Dalmatian shirts, drawing on spots on faces, putting spots on a giant Dalmatian poster that was auctioned off to raise money for the school and watching the movie at the end of the day. Kids had collections of 101 objects, we did things like walking 101 steps, guessing how many steps it took to get to lunch, gym, the playground, etc.

- Ricki Feist

Whatever you do, incorporate math

There was consensus among educators on Facebook that the 100th day of school is a great time to cook up a fun math lesson that incorporates the number 100.

Why not counting for the very young students? Bring in 100 of something: cheerios, beans, whatever. For older elementary students: “here are four random numbers. Devise an equation that can make them equal 100.”

- Leigh Bagwell

I have always bought 100 munchkins at Dunkin’ Donuts, had the class count along as I transferred them to a large tray and then guessed how many each of them would get when we divided them up. I would write guesses on the board and then give everybody 1, then ask if there were enough to do two, etc.

- Suzanne Woolslayer

Get moving

Or how about something to get your students moving? One Facebook commenter plays this popular Jack Hartman exercise video for their second-grade students:

Still feeling short on ideas for the 100th day? Both the website We Are Teachers and publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have some great suggestions.

How Should Schools Celebrate 100 Days of School? Educators Are Split (2)
Stacey Decker

Deputy Managing Editor for Digital, Education Week

Stacey Decker was the deputy managing editor for digital at Education Week.

How Should Schools Celebrate 100 Days of School? Educators Are Split (2024)

FAQs

Why do teachers celebrate 100 days of school? ›

Why do we celebrate 100 days of school? This marks a point in the year where students are more than half-way through the 180 day school year. It is a time to reflect on all the learning that has taken place so far.

Who celebrates 100 days of school? ›

The holiday was started in 1979 in Livermore, California, by teacher Lynn Taylor and is now a significant part of classroom culture and Pinterest board queries across the globe. Taylor celebrated the 100th day of school in her classroom to help children understand the concrete lesson of the number 100.

What does 100 days mean in school? ›

The 100th Day of School is a symbolic celebration of students' achievements during the academic year, especially for those in elementary school. The event centers around the number 100, which helps develop learners' understanding and recognition of numbers up to 100.

What is the significance of 100 days? ›

In traditional Chinese culture, the number 100 is considered auspicious and symbolizes longevity and prosperity. It was believed that reaching 100 days of life was a critical milestone for a newborn as it signifies that the baby has survived the vulnerable early months of life.

Why does the 100th day of school matter? ›

The 100th day of school is a fun opportunity to recognize student progress and honor all of the hard work as a community. It's also the perfect chance to include numbers and math concepts in the festivities centered around the number 100.

Who invented 100 days of school? ›

The First 100th Day of School

Back in 1979, Lynn Taylor, along with her colleagues David Cooper and Mary Hurdlow, celebrated their first 100th day of school. The idea grew from their experience with a program called Math Their Way and an activity called The Days of School Graph.

What do students reflect on during the 100th day of school? ›

Reflect on progress: The 100th day of school is a great opportunity for students to reflect on their progress and to celebrate their accomplishments. It allows students to see how far they have come since the start of the school year and to appreciate their hard work and effort.

Do people celebrate 100 days together? ›

Yes, some people do celebrate 100 days of a relationship. In some cultures, especially in East Asia, it is quite common to celebrate this milestone. It is seen as a significant moment in a relationship, similar to celebrating the first month or first year anniversary.

What cultures celebrate 100 days? ›

This powerful number, which construes the meaning of perfection, wholeness and milestone, has long been associated with a baby's birth in traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean culture.

How should I dress my child for 100 days of school? ›

Many kids who dress up for the 100th day of school wear centenarian costumes, also known as 100 year old person costumes. Little girls will look cute dressed in floral print dresses paired with comfy cardigan sweaters and spectacles.

How many days are you actually in school? ›

In the U.S., 180 days of school is most common, but length of school day varies by state. School has started in most of the United States. On average, K-12 public schools will be in session close to 180 days this year, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Education Commission of the States.

How many days is 10 percent of school days? ›

Research shows that missing 10 percent of the school, or about 18 days in most school districts, negatively affects a student's academic performance. That's just two days a month and that's known as chronic absence.

Why do we celebrate teachers day in 100 words? ›

Teacher's Day is a special occasion celebrated to honor and appreciate our teachers for their valuable contributions to our education and growth. For children in classes 4 and 5, this day holds great significance as it gives us the opportunity to express our gratitude towards our teachers.

Why do we celebrate teachers day short? ›

Teachers' Day History and Importance: Every year, India celebrates the birth anniversary of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (September 5) as National Teachers' Day as a tribute to his contributions and achievements. Radhakrishnan completed his entire education through scholarships.

Why do we celebrate teachers day easy? ›

The reason why Teacher's day is celebrated on 5th September is to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. He was born on 5th September 1888 and was a great teacher, politician, author, philosopher; and also received Bharat Ratna.

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