Monday, January 28, 2013

100th Day Rigor

Our 100th day is quickly approaching (can you believe how fast the year is flying by?!). When I plan my lessons, I do it in kind of an unusual way. You see, I work at a magnet school. Technically, I'm the Kindergarten GT teacher (although this year I only had 7 GT identified kiddos out of my 26). Even if I was teaching a "regular" class, I still think I would have the same expectations for my munchkins. One of my passions is finding ways to really challenge kids-I'm a nerd, I know! Most teachers roll their eyes when they hear that word, but I just love finding new ways to really help develop those brain cells! :) They are really capable of doing so much more than we typically ask of them. My biggest pet peeve is when I tell people what I do and the response is "awwww, what a fun job. You get to fingerpaint all day!". This past weekend, my hairdresser literally said something to the effect of "well, at least you don't have to worry about really teaching them anything". Um, actually......grrrrr.

Anyway, I digress. When I plan I do a little bubble-map-like chart for myself including Kaplan's concepts of Depth and Complexity, creativity and also just general critical thinking. This is my plan for the 100th day and I just thought I'd share.

Critical Thinking: Give them exactly 100 legos/cups/toothpicks and marshmallows-they have to use them all to make a structure-great cooperative workstation

Art: collage of 100's, using 100 brushstrokes/beads/little squares to make a masterpiece.
Math: Dice to 100-they take turns rolling the dice and counting on (can use dry erase boards) to see who reaches 100 first. (My kids are just fascinated with dice this year, I'm not sure why).

Patterns: Identify patterns in the 100’s chart (obvious, I know), have 10 or 20 children stand in the circle and count around to 100 like playing the Buzz game. Why does the same student say the 10's every time?

Ethics: If you found a $100 bill, what would you do? Is it right to spend $100 on something frivolous? Is it fair the way we treat people who 100 years old?

Perspective: If I were 100 years old, if I were a $100 bill, if I were the number 100 –how would it feel, etc.

Rules: for being the number 100, rules for counting to 100

Over Time: write about the changes in a person from age 0-100, write about changes to $100 bill over time, changes in the world in the past 100 years

Language of the disciplines: Think like a mathematician-how would you have interpreted something like the Starry Starry Night painting or a specific book/movie.


  1. These activities sound awesome! I just checked with our PreK teacher and her prediction for our 100th day (assuming no more snow days) is February 14th! Can you believe it? That day is already jam-packed with Valetine's Day activities So we might be celebrating the 101st day in my class :)

    Joy in the Journey

  2. Oh my gosh! Yes, that might be a little awkward (as my kids would say :). I think they'll have just as much fun celebrating day 101!

  3. At least you don't have to worry about teaching them anything? Um whatever. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  4. Right?! I think people still picture the color in the lines/nap/snack time type of Kindergarten. Our district wants them to read 30 wpm when they leave us!

  5. What great ideas for the 100th day! Thanks for sharing!

    Carolina Teacher

  6. People who make these comments have absolutely no idea what education is about, especially these days! I understand your frustration. I teach Home Ec, and the comments I get from students and fellow teachers alike are just maddening! Just this week I had a special ed caseworker more or less expecting me to apologize for applying Common Core Standards and grade-level appropriate rigor in my classroom - she thinks electives like mine should be easy classes where she doesn't have to worry about the kids on her caseload keeping up with their work or needing accommodations for the reading/writing/math/etc. It's bad enough when the kids come in expecting it to be a class where they just eat snacks and chat with their friends and get an easy A, but when the teachers perpetuate that idea... argh. Kindergarten teachers have to teach the beginnings of EVERYTHING, so to say you don't have to really teach them ANYTHING... how did you keep your brain from exploding?