1st Grade Teacher, Kenwood Elementary School
When I first told my students what their next challenge would be, the children fell into two categories. They were either very excited to get started or overwhelmed by the task. For the 100th day of school I asked my first graders to create something by using 100 items. Over the course of two days they would get 100 minutes to plan a design AND create their one of a kind item. They would then share what they made with their fourth grade reading buddies.
The activity started weeks prior with a letter home to families requesting small items that could be used for our challenge. Children brought in shells, bottle caps, stickers, pasta, metal washers, pom-poms, and small rocks. I supplied a few additional items such as paper towel rolls, Pringel containers, canvas boards, chenille pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and anything from our classroom Creation Station. On the 99th day of school we were set with quite a variety of items to use.
Since we did not have a solid 100 minutes to create on the 100th day of school, I separated the challenge over two days. On the 99th day of school the children were given 45 minutes to lay out a plan for what they would build. If time allowed, they could begin to count out the 100 items. The excitement could be felt all around. The children were abuzz with discussion and planning. I carefully observed the children that seemed overwhelmed and watched others discuss the design and give advice on how to add more to their creation.
The next morning I had parents at the door wanting to see what we were doing. Many children had gone home and went into great detail about the challenges they faced in their task. Parents were so excited to see where their child was in the process of planning.
In primary grades, the 100th day of school is filled with many fun activities and our morning was no different. But, after recess, we applied all of our skills and ingenuity to Making in first grade. My favorite quotes from the day are:
“100 is actually a big number when you keep losing track and have to start over.”
“I only have 85 items. I still need a set of 5 and a set of 10 to get to 100. I wonder what I should add.”
“The timer is up? I only got to 65 items. I guess that this is a work in progress!”
Like all experiences there were lessons to be learned. For example, I learned that if you get Gorilla Glue on your hands you should not wash them with soap and water. The best thing that gets off the glue is rubbing alcohol. Oh, the lessons we will all learn as we make Making a part of our classrooms!