Are you gearing up for the 100th day of school in kindergarten? I am working here behind the scenes to help you pull off a fun and learning-filled day.
I've got some freebies to share as a result. It's my goal on KindergartenWorks to have your back - by helping you keep the beauty in kindergarten with age-appropriate things that make learning fun and the cool thing to do.
Let me share how to create a fun filled learning day that doesn't require a ridiculous amount of prep work or require you to throw the entire routine you've worked to establish out the window.
So, let's jump in. I'll use the 100th day of school as my example here - but really, we could apply this to any minor or school-only holiday.
Keep It Simple
What if instead of making the whole 100th day just about the number 100 (and counting to 100... and counting 100 things... and stamping 100 things... and building with 100 things) we made the day "themed" and pulled in the number 100 in age-appropriate ways throughout the normal classroom day?
That'd be cool. Right?
While there's nothing wrong with doing any or all of those listed things on the 100th day of school - it's just that it can get old really quick and take a lot of prep work.
Planning a Special School Day
Here's my overall thinking when it comes to planning a special school day: Keep what you absolutely love about the 100th day of school and give yourself permission to ditch the rest.
Elaborate, amazing, intricate ideas found on Pinterest? Love 'em - but I'll pass.
Remind yourself: what's your goal?
When I planned for special school days, like the 100th day of school, I honestly tried to keep as much of the same routine for the day as possible.
I did this for 4 specific reasons:
- It kept me sane
- It kept my students' excitement to a totally "can handle this" level
- It didn't completely interrupt my flow of planning
- It actually made the day more fun because we had specific things to look forward to versus and entire day of "different"
Building the anticipation to 1 or 2 "different" things in the day was just right and is age-appropriate for kindergarten.
Use Your Normal Routine to Your Advantage
Let me share my thinking on how to use the normal routine you've established:
- Keep the anchor parts of the day. (For me - these were often the biggest chunks of time and the most crucial in making daily progress. In our classroom, that meant the small group times.)
- After deciding what non-negotiables are in your normal routine - plan the leftover chunks of time accordingly. These are great time slots to add your "just fun stuff" like - making a Froot Loop necklace of 100 pieces or adding in an extra read aloud.
- See if/where you could easily tweak the plans you already have.
This way the day feels cohesive.
That's really how to use your routine to your advantage. You pull off a fun, themed day with learning at the forefront.
Planning the 100th Day of School
Let me share what that'd look like for me!
Here's how I'd plan the 100th day for kindergarten:
Keep a Mostly-Normal Schedule
I'd keep my guided reading time. I'd use kinder-friendly emergent readers that tie into my theme (if possible). Literacy centers in our classroom stay the same all year so that's an easy pass for me.
You could easily use these free 100th day themed emergent readers I created for you. There are 3 different levels so hopefully your whole class would be covered.
See, I've got your back.
I would keep my guided math time. That means the math zones don't really change much - but I could tweak an activity or two in the teacher zone (where I meet with small groups) to work on numbers to 100 in a fun way (based on what my groups need).
I'd keep my writing time. I'd use a kinder-friendly prompt that relates to the theme.
In this case - we'd start a writing project and make a mini-book about batches of 100 things. You could use this free, cute book too with your students and they could write about the number 100 in creative ways.
I would keep my read aloud... and probably add in at least an extra one for the day.
Here's a list of (affiliate) great 100th day read aloud books you might want to pick from:
- 100 Snowmen (math related - preview)
- 100th Day Worries (sweet - preview)
- Wolf's Chicken Stew (humorous - preview)
Substitute Extra Fun in Small Doses
I would probably use my mini-lesson time (normally in between guided reading groups) to do 1 or 2 fun activities like:
- turn the numbers in 100 into something else
- make a headband crown
- make a 100 piece necklace or snack
- color 100th day necklaces to wear or certificates to take home
Inserting an activity listed above would take longer than a mini-lesson normally would... so I'd change the length of our centers or other scheduled items to accommodate the time needed.
To Sum It Up
I'd keep my anchor parts of the day, pull the theme into those anchor parts where it made sense and insert a few purely fun 100th day themed things.
The day is more manageable and easy to plan that way.
If you're looking to simplify your 100th day of school or researching how to plan a special school day that isn't over the top - I hope this can help.
This is my same planning recipe for Valentine's day, St. Patrick's day, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
As a side note - all of the freebies listed in this post feature cute monsters to tie the day together. Here they are for quick access:
- 100th Day of School Leveled Readers
- Printable 100th Day Necklaces
- Easy 100th Day of School Certificates
- Cute Writing Activity Mini-Book - Hooray for 100!
- Crown Headbands for the 100th Day of School
If you like what I do here on KindergartenWorks, then be sure to subscribe today. I look forward to sharing ideas with you weekly.