Killeen, TX/2021: All across Killeen ISD, elementary school students and teachers celebrated a special birthday Thursday – the 100th day of school.
At the younger grade levels, teachers maximized the opportunity to guide students to creatively count to 100 – stacking 100 cups, filling in a heart with 100 stickers or making a necklace with 100 pieces of cereal.
In the higher elementary grade levels, lessons called on critically thinking through what life might look like in 100 years or working through math problems involving 100s.
There was also lots of fun.
In some classes, students, teachers and other staff members dressed like octogenarians.
Saegert Elementary School kindergarten teacher Michelle Camacho wore a wig and sweater as part of her 100-year-old disguise.
“We’re celebrating 100 days,” she said. “We are 100 days smarter than when we started.” Her students worked through 100-day math problems, took 100 steps through the school and grouped 100 items by 10s.
“We really just want to get them excited to come to school,” Camacho said. She and her grade-level peers adjusted regular 100-day activities to stay distanced and included virtual students. “It’s something we all look forward to.”
For kindergarten students, counting to 100 is an important skill. By first grade, students work to group by 10s and figure out the value of money.
Some teachers and students made their own T-shirts. Cedar Valley Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Shanay Cordova designed face masks for her students with a 100th-day icon.
Her students spent part of the day in a “100-day challenge,” with five timed learning stations each with a problem to solve. They considered whether they would prefer traveling back or forward 100 years.
“It’s fun doing the activities,” said fourth-grader Sofia Villalpando. “It doesn’t seem like we’ve been in school 100 days. It seems like about 16 weeks.”
The fourth-grader said her teachers keep her busy, making the days fly by. She wore a shirt her mom helped her make that pointed out she had survived 100 days wearing a face mask.
“I like it – 100 days goes fast,” she said.
Down the hall, first-graders in Jenna Brown’s class were also learning and having fun at the same time. They made hats and necklaces displaying their 100th day lessons. They worked together to stack 100 cups in a pyramid.
Some of them, Brown said, were surprised to find out that after counting to the 100th day there was more school to come – about 86 days more.
“The goal today was to have fun with it,” the teacher said. “It’s been a long year. They are enjoying this. They are learning and they get to be creative.”