Congratulations! The 100th Day of School is just around the corner. You made it! There is no better way to celebrate than with some engaging and exciting 100th day activities.
Second and third-grade teachers, you might be wondering why I’m directing this 100th Day of School message to you. Most of your students have already done the popular 100th Day activities. That’s fantastic! They’ve built a foundational understanding of 100 through 10 collections of 10, 10 groups of 10 objects, etc. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on the 100th Day of School activities and celebrations altogether!
It’s time to get creative! With a sprinkle of imagination, we can keep the celebration of 100 alive with new, age-appropriate activities for the 100th Day of School. Over the years, I’ve brainstormed and collaborated with colleagues to engage older students with the power of 100. Today, I’m sharing those activities with you!
Making Lists of 100
I never underestimate the power of a list, especially when you’re challenging students to create a list of 100! It may sound simple, but making lists of 100 is a fantastic way to review or practice content across subjects. Bonus: List-making has proved to be a fantastic way to differentiate 100th Day activities and encourage collaboration.
100 Math Equations That Equal 100
There are many ways to include 100th Day Activities in your math block. Older students are often mastering addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even division beyond 100. That means your students have a bunch of computational tools in their mathematical toolbox. I say, use them!
The basic premise: Students can use multiple computational approaches and strategies. I love to teach the order of operations with this activity. Students try out different ways to make 100, and we test them out as a class. Somehow this straightforward process turns pure mathematical computation into a collaborative game.
100th Day activities are a great way to celebrate the strides and knowledge we’ve made in our literacy block. Take this as a moment to highlight the power of their 100 days of word work, reading, and writing:
- 100 pairs of synonyms
- 100 words we can spell correctly
- 100 words that need a capital letter
- 100 books we love
- 100 books students have read this year (extension activity: they can sort by genre after!)
- 100 favorite book characters
100 Ways to Build 100 with Manipulatives
What do you call a list made out of physical objects? This might be more of a collection activity, rather than a list, but hear me out. Older students have a lot of experience with math manipulatives. And their love for building and creating doesn’t end in second grade! Put out all of the manipulatives you have used so far this year. Ask students to build as many versions of 100 as possible, aiming to build 100 as a class. Do a gallery walk at the end to highlight how different 100 looks, depending on the type of manipulative used.
Quick bonus activity: You can have students sketch or take photos of all their creations!
100th Day STEM Activities
The 100th day is the perfect opportunity (and excuse!) to work in some great STEM activities into your day. A couple of my favorite ideas are:
100th Day Base-Ten Collages
A favorite amongst my students is our base-ten collages. Students create images of 100 base-ten blocks using a mixture of tens and ones. Their images can include any mixture—let them get creative as long as it adds up to 100! I promise you their creations will go beyond expectations. This activity makes for a great 100th Day bulletin board.
You can make 100th Day Base-Ten Collages two ways:
- Use the physical base ten blocks. If you do that, make sure to take photos! Their creations are often quite creative!
- Print paper versions. Students can cut and paste their images together. (This is a personal favorite for display.)
Opt-in for paper math manipulatives
In this activity, start with a 100th Day question. For example, What can you build with 100 cups? Give students 100 cups and watch as their engineering brains start churning.
For those who are in the middle of engineering units, you can take this 100th day activity a few steps further. This is a great exercise to practice the engineering design process and pose more specific questions. Here’s how:
- Start by choosing a testable or measurable question. Some examples: What is the tallest structure you can make with 100 cups? What is the sturdiest structure you can make with 100 cups?
- Then, engage in the planning stage. Ask students to draw a design and include labels. Make sure your students know how their structure will be tested or measured.
- Once the planning is complete, it is time to build! Give students a set amount of time to construct their design.
- Time’s up! Now it is time to measure or test. Make sure you have a range of testing if you’re measuring sturdiness—for example, ten thin books from a series (of the same page count) to place on top, one at a time.
Arrays to 100
If your students are working on arrays, this one’s for you! There are many ways to build an array of 100. You can use tile squares, unifix cubes, omnifix cubes—you name it! Ask students to sketch them in their math journals with equation labels. Want to take it a step further? Ask students to build arrays of 1000!
100th Day Read Alouds
Read alouds are always a great way to celebrate a classroom accomplishment. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of 100th Day read alouds geared toward second and third-grade students. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t great read alouds for the occasion.
How Much Is A Million? By David Schwartz
I highly recommend How Much Is A Million to all third-grade classrooms for the 100th Day of School. True, it isn’t about the number 100. But, ultimately, 100 is significant because of how it works within our base-ten system. So really, How Much Is A Million builds on the idea of conceptualizing 100. Perfect for our older students! With this book, we use base-ten knowledge to start conceptualizing 1 million. And what is even more exciting than 1 million? 1 billion! Students will be blown away by how Schwartz measures 1 million and 1 billion in easy-to-comprehend visuals. Schwartz uses everyday objects to draw length comparisons. Get ready for your students to be in awe!
Ms. Goozenpop’s Crazy 100th School Day by Sandy Sanders
Are you looking to get a little laughter going from the 100th day of school activity? Look no further. Ms. Goozenpop’s Crazy 100th School Day begins, and things quickly go awry. The chaos that ensues, written in rhyme, always engages my class. Expect laughs, gasps, and predictive exclamations.
Things to Avoid for the 100th Day
Every year, I reevaluate my own practices around the 100th Day of School. I make sure that my 100th Day activities reflect the values I want to teach my students. That said, it is essential to note that there are a few things to avoid when celebrating 100 days of school:
Promoting Stereotypes of the Elderly
I’ve seen many activities that ask students to either dress or act like they are 100 years old. This kind of activity can lead to unnecessary stereotypical depictions of the elderly and differently-abled individuals. Looking for a way to honor people who are elderly on the 100th Day? Here are some quick ideas:
- Ask students to share pictures or stories of older family members who inspire them!
- Write letters to elderly folks at an assisted living or nursing home.
I try to avoid food-based projects both for allergies and specific dietary restrictions. These days, there are so many different food sensitivities that range in severity. While food projects are fun, they can be harmful to students. Let alone a logistical nightmare trying to find something that meets the needs of everyone. Are you interested in incorporating the idea of snacks or treats? Use pictures! You might be surprised by how exciting a cutout fruit salad or bowl of 100 Cheerios can be for students!
Activities with Limited Natural Differentiation
I can’t stress this enough. The activities in your classroom should meet the needs of all your students. I’ve been the kid who had the “easy” assignment that wasn’t as exciting as the regular activity. It feels pretty rotten! Likewise, I’ve seen the students constantly seeking a challenge and finish activities only to sit there, bored. Make sure your 100th Day Activities are naturally differentiated and have options for students to create their level of challenge!
I hope these activities inspire you to celebrate the 100th Day of School in a new, creative way that meets the needs of your older students. Do you have another favorite project to level up the 100th day of school in second and third grade? Please share in the comments below!
Looking for even MORE Hundredth Day Activities? Check out THIS Post to grab a favorite freebie!