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    By Todd Martin

    “Hip, hip hooray it’s the hundredth day!”

    The signs at Saegert Elementary School were clear Friday – it was the 100th day of the current school year.

    Another banner proclaimed “100 Days Smarter.”

    First-graders in Jayne Doxsey’s and Melissa Davis’ classes dressed the part as centurions to mark the mathematical and calendar milestone.

    A longtime teacher, Doxsey joined her students, dressing in wig and vintage clothing and using a walker.

    There was learning to be done, too.

    During the day, the first-graders read 100 books, built a bridge out of 100 straws, bundled several items in 10s to equal 100 and popped 100 balloons, each containing directions for further activities.

    First-graders Jaxon Palmer and Abby Gliksman considered carefully the idea of 100 and celebrating 100 days of school.

    “We get to dress up like old men and old women to show it’s the 100th day of school,” Palmer said. “We do 100 things with everything.”

    “They look funny,” said Gliksman of herself and classmates.

    “I look funny,” Palmer confessed. “My unibrow keeps falling off. People are laughing at me.” He wore white facial hair pulled from the fluff of a Santa hat.

    The first-grade curriculum does deal with 10s and 100s. Students study place value and count to 120, Davis said. They also learned about other numbers in relation to 100.

    Recently, the students worked on counting change in a money unit. “We will get them to think about what they would do with $100,” the teacher said.

    Several classes in various grade levels used the numerical milestone for lessons.

    Kindergarten teacher Graciela Young worked with students to count to 100 by 10s and by 5s. Avery Flores picked up the lesson quickly, made a necklace of 100 cereal flakes and helped her classmates.

    She said it was fun to count so high.

    Pre-kindergarten teacher Stephanie Foster said her students were learning to count to 100 and attempting to gather 100 items.

    “They know it’s a lot of items,” Foster said, “and they know it’s a long time.”

    Cedar Valley Elementary School first-graders recognized the hundredth day of school Monday since students and staff didn’t attend school one day due to icy weather.

    In one class, teacher Teresa Mitchell helped her students make special ID badges with their fingerprints. The first-graders spent the day as spies to rescue “Zero the hero” from the clutches of “Agent 99.”

    By following clues, the students constructed a sentence to lead them to their prize. Failing to find the missing hero would result in re-living the 99th day again and again.

    In another class, first-graders spent much of the day in learning centers building with 100 marbles and 100 Tinker Toys, playing with 100 dinosaurs and making a necklace with 100 cereal loops.

    Students also came up with 100 adjectives (seven apiece) and did reading and writing connected to the big number.

    “We get to use markers and pens and count by 10’s,” said first-grader Kiara Colston, explaining the excitement of the 100th day. “We get to make a crown and a necklace.”

    “Kids look forward to it,” said teacher Derenda Dickey, a 16-year teacher who recognizes the special day every year. She uses blocks that show squares arranged in 10s.

    With 100 days of the school year gone, it’s another 71 until summer break, for those who are counting.

    February 12, 2018

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