Friday, February 24, 2012

Hundredth Day... and Kindergarten Teachers Are Amazing!

On Tuesday, we celebrated the 100th Day of School.That's what it says in the bulletin, But I know it by a different name:  "Oh Golly Now I Know It's Almost Time for Testing."

I am trying not to panic.  So I'll share a bit more about our Hundredth Day celebration instead.


In sixth grade, we wrote a hundred words, multiplied numbers by one hundred, divided numbers by one hundred, worked on percent problems (and solving for a variable over one hundred) and made a commitment to read one hundred minutes.

The best part of our day was "Buddy Time."  The kindergarten teachers had prepared a packet of things for the kindergartners to do with their Book Buddies.  They counted to hundred, counted by tens, colored a hundred objects, counted in sign language... and completed several other tasks.  Our yearly highlight is making Froot Loop necklaces with one hundred 'Loops..  As many of my sixth graders used to be the "little buddy," they fondly remembered this task.

I'm sure you have seen this activity a million (or a least 100!) times.  As the teacher of the "Big Buddies," I prepare the materials for the big-and-little partnerships.

Since I have been behind lately (okay, since September), I didn't want to alter my routine. So I started preparing the materials late Monday night.  Since the Hundredth Day fell after a holiday, I wasn't confident that I would have any kid helpers in the morning.  Note to self: This is not an easy task to do when you are tired!

This is when my admiration for kindergarten teachers really soared.

I already admire anyone who can teach kids under the age of seven (or older than fourteen!).  However, getting ready for this activity made it clear that the prep is almost as arduous as dealing with these mobile small children who seem to need to go to the bathroom every twelve minutes.

First I cut the strings.  Since I was preparing materials for sixty kids, there were parts and pieces of this project all over my living room. Ten minutes into the prep and I was already thankful I wasn't a primary teacher.

Then I had to put the "ends" on the strings. I have tried glue in previous years-- it leads to a bigger mess that often needs a taped-over "fix up" when the yarn frays.  Wrapping a small piece of tape around yarn SOUNDS so easy.  I was sweating after the first twelve.  And they weren't even pretty.


Then I bagged the Froot Loops (Am I supposed to spell it wrong to protect copyright?  Or spell it right to give them credit?  Maybe I should type "Froot Loops®" or "Froot Loops©"?)  Like Play-Doh, the smell of Froot Loops is easily recognizable.  After smelling it a few hours., I was fairly certain I wouldn't be eating any Froot Loops (with or without a tiny little letter) for quite a while.


Then I cut up the little dividers.  And punched a hole in the middle with a hole punch that dates back to 1967 (which may explain why I had a blister before I had punched half of the squares!)
Over the years, those dividers have often been a life-saver! Counting by tens is not easy.  But counting a long string of sticky Froot Loops when you forget what your last "count" was... is not fun!  Even for sixth graders!  I know the dividers are important. I just don't know why I wanted to cut them so carefully.  Many of them are quickly mangled in a kindergartner's mouth when they try to eat the cereal while they are still wearing the necklace.  Nothing like a mouthful of yarn and/or cardstock to enhance the flavor (and  texture) of your breakfast cereal!


I was so thankful to see my "big kids" in  the morning.  I was downright sappy as I praised them for their ability to work independently and to stay on task... and to hardly ever ask for the restroom when I am in the middle of a sentence..  By that time, they were starring at me suspiciously.  I just handed them some cereal and ushered them out the door to the kinder classes to begin our project.

My sixth graders adore their Buddies.  Many of them will list Buddies as their favorite thing about sixth grade.  (What? How can you not adore learning about pronouns and antecedents?  And what about the contemporary parallels of Hammurabi's Code?  Isn't that fascinating?  And experimental and theoretical probability?  Don't you love learning about that? Sigh.)

By the way, our kindergarten teachers don't let them off easy!  On the necklaces, each group of ten Froot Loops needs a pattern that the kindergartner can describe.  Even without help from their Buddies, some of those little friends were amazingly capable and creative.


By the time we left, however, those kindergartners were wiggling. And sticky. And tiredhungrythirsty.

And there was a line at the bathroom...



I hope you had a WONDERFUL Hundredth Day too!


10 comments:

  1. Looks like a great day! And yes, K teachers are awesome!
    Jennifer
    First Grade Blue Skies

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  2. FANTASTIC!!! And I'm a bit jealous ... 100 Day is usually just celebrated by our primary classes ... think I may have to change this next year! Have a GREAT weekend, Kim!

    Jen
    Runde's Room

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  3. Totally LOVE that you guys do buddy classes! Such a win-win. Thanks for such a thorough description and for giving KUDOS to those AmAzInG K teachers!!! I think 6th grade teachers are pretty special, too. Our 2nd grade teachers encouraged their little ones to dress like centurions . . . they were AdOrAbLe!!

    Sending smiles,

    Barbara

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  4. Hey there bloggy bud....Looks like too much fun...I have been sooooo caught up in the last minute prep for writing test that I missed the 100th day:((( At least I think I did!!!! That's how clueless I am....yea, I'm pretty sure it happened here....Hugs!

    4th Grade Frolics

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  5. You have an amazing ability to write. I laughed so hard I cried. It takes a special kind of person to handle those kids 7 and under. I am not that person. Kuddos to you for making it through the prep time!

    Mrs Poland
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

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  6. Love the buddy thing!!! :) :) :) So fun!!!!
    I have never done the dividers on the string. I just have mats with 10 circles and the kids have to put 10 loops in each circle. Then they can start stringing. I learned to have parents prep the taping of the ends and tying off the other end with a fruit (froot) loop so that the other fruit (froot) loops don't slip off. Either way, I have kids whining about their hunger or thirst, this is too hard, or they really have to go to the bathroom.
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

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  7. How fun!!!! {for the kids not you}
    I miss celebrating the 100th day!
    I love that you buddied up with little ones.
    I'm right there with ya on the prep!!! Primary teachers work MUCH harder than we do prepping.

    I think you did an amazing job!!!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

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  8. I'm so excited to have stumbled upon your blog! I've awarded your blog the Liebster Award! Come on over to my blog to get the award so you can proudly display it here! :)

    Cortney
    onceuponasubstitute.blogspot.com

    P.S. Thanks for recognizing us Kindergarten teachers...although I'm only part time, there are days when it feels like full time! :)

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  9. Hey there friend......do I need to send the Rifleman out to find you????? Where are you??????

    4th Grade Frolics

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  10. Hope you are doing well. Just wanted to stop by and say hey! :)

    ReplyDelete

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