2022 - Down River Resources
Ready or not? The 100th Day of School is coming. I have quite an unpopular opinion about celebrating the 100th Day of School. It has been a tradition in schools to dress up and bring things into the classroom. Here's a few ways that the 100th Day has traditionally been celebrated: dress up as a 100-year-old, decorate a shirt with 100 objects, gathering a collection of 100. All of these ideas are surely fun, but they do place a burden on families, both with time and financially. Another common practice is teachers purchasing 10 different snacks and giving each student 10 pieces of each of the 10 snacks. Again, this is surely fun but places a financial burden on the classroom teacher. Snacks can also be problematic with allergies, etc. too! I recommend reading a fun picture book about the 100th Day {you can use the list below} and use a few fun activities that can be used throughout the school year, not just exclusively for the 100th  Day of School. 


The Best Collection of Picture Books to Celebrate the 100th Day of School


Get ready for the 100th Day of School with the best collection of picture books to celebrate with your eager learners! You'll see a common problem in many of the stories... the main character has to find 100 objects for a collection for their 100th Day of School! 

I saved my favorite picture book for the end of the list, so don't stop your scroll. Keep reading to find your favorite! 

* Please note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend items that I use regularly and know you will love! 

The Night Before the 100th Day of School by Natasha Wing


The 100th Day of School is almost here and one student is desperate to find 100 of anything to bring to class. Then all of sudden inspiration strikes, and he comes up with a surprise that makes the 100th day celebration one to remember! 

This hilarious story reminds me of the anxiety that comes with assigning the gathering of a collection of 100 objects to your students! See more here.


Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten by Joseph Slate


Kindergarten teacher? This is THE book is for your class! 

Miss Bindergarten, the world's best kindergarten teacher, is getting ready for another classroom milestone. Tomorrow, she and her class will have been together for 100 days. To celebrate, each student must bring "100 of some wonderful, one-hundred-full thing!" 

At night, while the students go to work assembling their projects, Miss Bindergarten is working, too, making special surprises for the class. The 100th day of kindergarten is bound to be unforgettable! See more here.


Jake's 100th Day of School by Lester L. Laminack  

What will Jake do when he forgets to bring the special collection he’s going to share for the 100th day of school? Jake and his fellow students are getting ready for a celebration. Tomorrow is the 100th day of school and everyone is going to share their collections of 100 things. 

The day of the celebration arrives, but Jake forgets the 100 family pictures he has glued into a special memory book at home. Disaster! But thanks to Jake’s ingenuity and the sensitivity of his principal, Jake does have a collection to display that day… and something special to share with the class on the 101st day of school.

There is lots of diversity in the school community throughout the beautiful illustrations of this book! See more here.


100 Days of School by Trudy Harris

The funny rhymes in this book will show you some different ways to count to 100 using a clown's nose, piggy toes, and other groups of things. It all adds up to a fun way to learn about 100!

Your young mathematicians will see how fascinating the world of number can be with the fun illustrations and storylines in this text! See more here.


Miss Mingo and the 100th Day of School by Jamie Harper


This is the newest published book on the 100th Day of School, so if you haven't seen this one yet, I recommend it! It might even inspire some fun activities in your classroom! 

It’s the 100th Day of School and Miss Mingo the Flamingo has quite a day planned for her diverse class of animals. 

First, the students share projects that celebrate the number one hundred: Centipede does one hundred jumping jacks, Panda shows off two bundles of fifty bamboo stalks, and other students share five sets of twenty footprints and other combos to get to the magic number. 

Later, the class works together to create sculptures out of one hundred paper cups (Octopus is particularly helpful), and the day becomes as much about self-expression as it is a number—especially when Miss Mingo has the whole class make silly faces for one hundred seconds! 

You'll love that this text integrates fascinating facts about the animals with humorously detailed illustrations that capture the young mathematicians’ excited energy. See more here.


100th Day Worries by by Margery Cuyler

Okay, here it is! This is my favorite book to use for the 100th Day of School. Perhaps, it is because I can relate to the main character, Jessica.

When the teacher tells everyone in class to find 100 things to bring to school for their 100th day, Jessica starts to worry. She wants to bring something really good. but what?

100 marshmallows? No, too sticky.
100 yo-yos? Nah, that's silly.

When Jessica reaches the 99th day, she really starts to worry. She still doesn't know what to bring! Could the best collection of 100 things be right under her eyes? See more here.


If you like 100th Day Worries, you'll love using this companion Book Bud!


If the text, 100th Day Worries sounds like a good-fit for your classroom, you will love this Book Bud, a text companion activity set, loaded with many printable math and literacy centers!


This Book Bud is jam-packed with activities to celebrate the 100th Day of School. It includes:

  • 6 Interactive Math Activities & Math Printables
  • 4 Interactive Literacy Activities & Literacy Printables
  • 1 Bulletin Board Craftivity (100th Day of School Writing + Party Hat Craft)
  • 4 Writing Prompts with Various Printable Paper Options (box for picture, primary lined & lined)





Focus Skills Included in this 100th Day Worries Book Bud:


Math: Count by Tens, Count by Fives, Groups of Ten, Count to 100, Write Numbers up to 100, Identify 2-D Shapes

Literacy: Syllables, Spelling, Verbs, Adjectives, Plot, Setting, Characters, Writing, and more!


I hope this post inspires you to read a fun 100th Day of School picture book to your class!

When is your 100th Day of School?



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Your young mathematicians and engineers will LOVE designing and constructing fun robots composed of two-dimensional shapes, or 2-D shapes! Depending on the grade level, your mathematicians and engineers can use their shape robots to show how many circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, rhombuses, and hexagons, and how many sides and vertices they used! This activity is bound to get your mathematicians and engineers critically thinking about the role robots play in our society. 




Top Way to Excite Young Students with Geometry and Engineering Using Robots


Students love ending a unit with a fun, culminating project. This two-dimensional robot craftivity is perfect for the end of a geometry unit OR engineering design unit. While I designed this project for kindergarten, first, and second grades, it could be throughout elementary school. There are several options that can be used for differentiation or a mix of these grade levels!

* Please note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend items that I use regularly and know you will love! 

Build Excitement Using Literature



First, I love using literature for interdisciplinary connections. I read Love, Z or Robot in Love to get engineers interested in robots. I usually teach two-dimensional shapes in January or February, so these are my favorite robot titles for this time of year!


Then, I read a short informational text that I wrote, The Most Important Thing about Robots. This text is patterned after the published book, The Important Book, by Margaret Wise Brown. By reading the informational text about robots aloud, I create shared knowledge with the class about some robot basics. 


Engineers learn about how robots help humans, the two main reasons robots are constructed with examples, and the two types of robots through the text. This robot knowledge will come in handy for the next part of the activity.


Designing a Two-Dimensional Robot 



The engineers use the knowledge they gained from the texts read aloud to design their robots. If you are interested in moving through the entire engineering design process, you can first have your students design or sketch their robot. Depending on your grade level, you might want your engineers to think about the limitations, or constraints, for their design. 

For example:
  • When using this activity with kindergarten engineers, they are limited to ONLY using circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles. 
  • When using this with first grades and above, engineers are limited to ONLY using circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, rhombuses, and hexagons.
  • These limitations above were generated based on the grade level standards.
  • You could create additional limitations, such as: "You can only use 12 shapes total." OR "You can only use 4 rectangles."

Engineers should think about the purpose of their robot. ASK: How does your robot help humans?

After engineers decide how their robot will help humans, they should plan the tasks that the robot should be able to do to carry out its purpose. This will determine what type of pieces, or parts, they will use.


Constructing a Two-Dimensional Robot 



After engineers design their robots, they can use the pre-printed templates to cut out the two-dimensional shapes to construct their robots. 

PRO TIP: I printed one full set of two-dimensional shapes in each color of cardstock. I placed the copies in the center of the group and engineers shared the pages. There are so many shapes included that one set of shapes per student is too much! 

You can also have engineers compose their own shapes using the attributes of two-dimensional shapes. This directly hits grade level standards but can be more challenging! You can use the pre-printed templates for tracing though to make this easier for engineers. I recommend using colored construction paper if using this option. This is also a good challenge for upper elementary engineers.

Engineers will need to glue the two-dimensional shapes together to construct their robots.

Once completed, engineers can use a half-sheet of paper to count the two-dimensional shapes included in their design. There are two different headings included: "My Robot Has..." or "I Like Shapes a Bot!" The shapes included on these printables are grade level specific, so there's three options.

Finally, engineers can use a recording sheet to name their robot and describe how their robot helps humans by doing three tasks.

In this photograph below, this kindergartener was challenged to use all of the shapes included to differentiate. The half-sheet of paper for counting the shapes was created for first grade engineers, but this kindergartener used it successfully. 

If you look at the engineering design report, this robot called Musicbot helps humans by making music when a band member is sick. Musicbot is able to play polka music, dance on stage, and walk on stage. {This kindergarten work sample amazes me!}







After looking at all of these work samples, I can't wait to see what your engineers design! 

Extending the Learning about Geometry and Engineering Design



Included in this set, there are 12 constraints cards. (See the orange set of cards in the lower left-hand corner of the photograph below.) If you need to differentiate the craft portion of the activity, you could assign a constraint card to an engineer. 


PRO TIP: I recommend cutting and placing all of the two-dimensional shapes that are left over from constructing robots in a plastic storage bag. Place the 12 constraints cards on a binder ring and slip into the bag. This becomes an instant station!

This can be used in a math station, science station, or engineering station to extend the learning.

There is an additional recording sheet for accountability if desiring to use the materials within a station. 

If mixing two-dimensional shapes and engineering design is a good-fit for your classroom, you can snag it right here in my TpT shop. 


I'm looking forward to seeing what your engineers design! Tag me on social media. 


Paper folding provides elementary mathematicians with the opportunity to visualize fractional size, and once stacked, allows students to see equivalency as a way of naming the same size area using a different number of units. There are several ways to use paper folding to visualize concepts that lead to fractional understanding including: comparing halves and fourths, generating equivalent fractions, adding fractions with unlike denominators, and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators. Here are my favorite ways to use paper folding to teach fractions conceptually:



The Best Ways to Teach Fractions for Understanding Using Paper Folding




1. Comparing Halves and Fourths


This paper folding activity is best used with mathematicians in first or second grades OR mathematicians who are struggling in upper grades.


➡️ Focus: Halves and Fourths


1️⃣ Fold one rectangular paper (copy paper or colored cardstock) in half. Then, cut the paper in half along the folded line. 


2️⃣ Fold another rectangular paper in half and in half again. Then, cut the paper in fourths along the folded lines.


3️⃣ To support vocabulary development, write “one fourth of paper” on each of the four equal pieces of paper and “one half of paper” on each of the two equal pieces of paper. 


4️⃣ After preparing the halves and the fourths, have one mathematician hold one of the halves and another mathematician hold one of the fourths. 


5️⃣ Compare the pieces by holding them next to each other on on top of one another. 


6️⃣ Ask: Who has the larger number of pieces? Who piece is largest?


These can be posted in the room as a reference, helping mathematicians visualize the concept of halves and fourths as well as the relationship between the two fractional parts.


This fraction paper folding activity focuses on following standards:

→ TEKS- 1.6G Partition two-dimensional figures into two and four fair shares or equal parts and describe the parts using words.


→ TEKS- 1.6H Identify examples and non-examples of halves and fourths.

→ TEKS 2.3A Partition objects into equal parts and name the parts, including halves, fourths, and eighths, using words.




2. Generating Equivalent Fractions with Paper Folding and Number Lines 


This paper folding activity is best used with mathematicians in third grade OR mathematicians who are struggling in upper grades.

➡️ Focus: 1/2, 2/4, 3/6, and 4/8


1️⃣ Take a paper strip. Hold it horizontally. Fold it vertically down the middle. 


Ask: How many equal parts are in the whole? Two. What fraction of the whole is one part? One half. 


2️⃣ Draw a line to show where the paper was folded and label each half 1/2, one out of 2 units.


3️⃣ Repeat procedure and fold paper strips to show thirds, fourths, and fifths. 


4️⃣ Draw a number line that is a little longer than the paper strip. Use your strip as a ruler to mark zero and 1 above the line, and 0/2 and 2/2 below the line.


5️⃣ Use the number line to generate equivalent fractions using the other paper strips. 


This fraction paper folding activity focuses on following standards:

→ TEKS 3.3F Represent equivalent fractions with denominators of 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 using a variety of objects and pictorial models, including number lines.

→ TEKS 3.3G Explain that two fractions are equivalent if and only if they are both represented by the same point on the number line or represent the same portion of a same size whole for an area model.

→ TEKS 4.3C Determine if two given fractions are equivalent using a variety of methods.





3. Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators 


This paper folding activity is best used with mathematicians in fourth and fifth grad mathematicians OR mathematicians who are struggling in middle school.

We lose a lot of mathematicians when introducing addends with unlike denominators. 


➡️ Focus: 1/2 + 1/3


1️⃣ Ask: Can I add one-half plus one-third? 


2️⃣ Discuss with your partner.


3️⃣ Share out with the class. Sample answer: “I cannot add one-half plus one-third until the units are the same. We need to find like units.”


Continue below for the rest of this activity.



4️⃣ Make like units by folding paper as shown in the photograph above. 


This fraction paper folding activity focuses on following standards:

→ TEKS 4.3D Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators and represent the comparison using the symbols >, =, or <.

→ TEKS 4.3E Represent and solve addition and subtraction of fractions with equal denominators using objects and pictorial models that build to the number line and properties of operations.

→ TEKS 5.3H Represent and solve addition and subtraction of fractions with unequal denominators referring to the same whole using objects and pictorial models and properties of operations.





4. Subtracting Fractions with Unlike Denominators 


This paper folding activity is best used with mathematicians in fourth and fifth grad mathematicians OR mathematicians who are struggling in middle school.

Just like adding fractions with unlike denominators is tricky for mathematicians, so is subtraction!

➡️ Focus: 1/2 - 1/3


1️⃣ Ask: Can I subtract one-third from one-half?


2️⃣ Discuss with your partner.


3️⃣ Share out with the class. Sample answer: “I cannot subtract until the units are the same. We need to find like units.”


4️⃣ Draw one fraction model and partition it into two equal units. Then, write one-half below one part and shade. (This makes it easier to see one-half after changing the units.


5️⃣ Draw a second fraction model and partition it into thirds with horizontal lines. Then, write one-third below one part and shade. 


6️⃣ Now make equivalent units. 


7️⃣ Ask: How many new units do we have? Six units.


8️⃣ Ask: One half is how many sixths? One-half is three-sixths. One-third is how many sixths? One-third is two-sixths.


9️⃣ Write the equation with the number missing. Cross out 2 of the 3 shaded sixths. 3/6 - 2/6 = 1/6.  So, one-half minus one-third is one-sixth!


This fraction paper folding activity focuses on following standards:

→ TEKS 4.3D Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators and represent the comparison using the symbols >, =, or <.

→ TEKS 4.3E Represent and solve addition and subtraction of fractions with equal denominators using objects and pictorial models that build to the number line and properties of operations.

→ TEKS 5.3H Represent and solve addition and subtraction of fractions with unequal denominators referring to the same whole using objects and pictorial models and properties of operations.



I hope this post inspires you to use paper folding to teach fractions conceptually?

How will you use paper folding in your classroom?



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Reading or writing numerals has nothing to do with number concepts. Helping young mathematicians read and write the 10 single-digit numerals is similar to teaching them to read and write letters of the alphabet. Young mathematicians may be able to read and write some numerals more easily than others. For example, the numerals 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 are often mastered before 2, 6, 8, and 9. These challenges to numeral formation, also called numeral writing or number writing, doesn’t have to be repetitious practice; it can be engaging! Here's how:



8 WAYS TO PRACTICE NUMBER WRITING:


1. Trace over pages of numerals. 

You can use dotted lines or write in a highlighter and have young mathematicians trace on top. It is through this type of practice that they train their brain how to form the numerals.

You can adding a dot for the starting point to help mathematicians remember when to begin.

This mathematician is using Numeral Tracing and Writing Pages.

2. Make numerals from clay or dough. 

This is a fun and interactive way that young mathematicians can practice number formation. 


3. Write numerals in shaving cream.

On a hard, clean surface, spray and spread shaving cream. Young mathematicians will use their pointer finger to form the numerals as directed.


4. Write them on a dry-erase board or chalkboard. 


Young mathematicians can use large or personal sized board to practice writing numbers. One of my favorite tools to use during small group instruction is a personal sized magnetic drawing board. The mathematicians love using them and I love saving paper! 

PRO TIP: I used these fun mini magnetic drawing boards from a dollar store in my small group area. No erasers needed! 


5. Write numerals in a sand tray or salt tray. 

Use a small wooden or plastic tray and fill it with sand or iodized salt. Mathematicians can use their pointer finger to write their numbers in the sand or salt. 

PRO TIP: I like using the sandwich containers from a dollar store that have a lid. We can quickly snap the lid off during use and snap it back on when not in use. {If you're like me and want to avoid a mess, only use these under supervision! Don't say I didn't warn you.}

Display cards from Numeral Writing Toolkit.

6. Write numerals on top of a zippered bag full of colored hair gel. 

PRO TIP: Use darker colored hair gel, such as green, to create a contrast between the gel and the table surface.

If you look close enough, the mathematician wrote the numeral '4' in the hair gel. Placing a white paper behind the bag creates a contrast to reveal the numeral more easily.


7. Write numbers in the air using a straight arm and point with two fingers (pointer and middle fingers placed together). 

Yes, mathematicians need to use two fingers to point! They are exercising additional muscles when performing this action since this activates the brain more! "Two fingers and straight elbows!" I often exclaim when writing numerals or letters in the air.


8. Trace numerals on sandpaper or other textured material. 

Cut out rectangles of sandpaper or other textured materials to create a mat for mathematicians to trace or write numerals.

I used some leftover clear cabinet liner with deep grooves. I placed numeral cards underneath the textured material to emphasis the correct formation.

Tracing cards from Numeral Writing Toolkit

Writing Numbers is Fun!

There are several ways to practice numeral writing to lead to students' success. Incorporating a variety of activities helps engage all of the young mathematicians in your classroom. 

If you are looking for support in this important skill, you may be interested in my numeral toolkit


The numeral writing activities described in this blog post, focus on following standards:

→ TEKS- K.2B

→ The student applies mathematical process standards to understand how to

represent and compare whole numbers, the relative position and magnitude of whole numbers,

and relationships within the numeration system.

→ K.2B Read, write, and represent whole numbers from 0 to at least 20 with and without objects or pictures.

→ CCSS K.CC.A.3

→ K.CC.A.3 Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).


I hope this post inspires you to practice numeral writing in a variety of ways.

How will you practice numeral writing in your classroom?



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