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Activities for the 100th Day of School

100th Day of School Collection Poster
by RubyDW is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Depending on which part of the U.S. you live in, your students will celebrate their 100th day of school pretty soon (it usually occurs in January or February each year). Many schools across the country celebrate the 100th day of school. It’s not only a milestone but also a great opportunity for teachers to practice math with their students. This is especially important in preschool and kindergarten, where students are learning their numbers. But it also provides good activities for all elementary-level students.

For example, you may ask your students to bring in “100” of something. It could be a collection of paperclips, or macaroni noodles, or buttons. The possibilities are endless! When my son was in preschool, he brought in a collection of 100 animal fact cards that we collected from National Geographic Little Kids magazines. We laid out all the cards on the floor and I helped him count all the way to 100. We also practiced counting by 10s. This activity is a good way to introduce more numbers.

See these fun activities that you can use in your classroom:

100th Day of School (Starfall)

Have a 100th Day of School Celebration (Scholastic)

100th Day of School Activities (K-5 Math)

Celebrate the 100th day of school!  (ReadWriteThink)

What Is the 100th Day of School? (VeryWell)

Celebrate the 100th Day of School (Education World)

In SIRS Discoverer, we love to find resources that teachers can use in their classrooms. See our activities page and math resources for more ideas. Also, see this cute story from Highlights for Children entitled 100 Things about a girl who is trying to find 100 things to bring in for the 100th day of school celebration.

Are you celebrating the 100th day of school? We want to know about it. Tweet us at #ProQuest or comment below!

Book Report Alternatives

Book reports are a very common assignment in elementary school. Usually, the book report will be a form that the students fill out describing the plot, setting, characters, etc. But lately, I’ve noticed my daughter’s 4th-grade teacher has made these assignments more exciting. I previously blogged about the first quarter project called “Book Floats.” But the second and third quarter brought even more exciting projects. One is called a “Story Cube Book Report” and the other is called a “Paper Bag Book Report.”

The Story Cube project was fun. The student either cuts out a template on large poster board paper to make a cube or they find a box and glue paper on each side. My daughter chose the latter. Each side of the cube has something different such as paragraph writing or hand-drawn pictures. And of course, there is an oral presentation in front of the class. Here is an example of instructions for this project that I found online. My daughter chose to do her report on “The Hypnotists” by Gordon Korman.

Images by Jennifer Oms

My Daughter’s Story Cube Project
Image by Jennifer Oms

I thought the Paper Bag project was also a fun idea. The students need to get a paper grocery bag, usually from their local supermarket. Then they need to cover each side with a different aspect of the story such as main idea, main characters, setting, and more. The bottom of the bag is where they rate the story and inside the bag they have to place items that represent the story. She chose “Double Fudge” by Judy Blume this time.

Images by Jennifer Oms

My Daughter’s Paper Bag Project
Image by Jennifer Oms

I think these types of projects help bring out the student’s creative side. They have so much fun making the project that they don’t realize they are writing a book report!

Teachers, a great place to learn about children’s books is in SIRS Discoverer! Here are some subject searches in ProQuest SIRS Discoverer to get you started:

Children’s books

Books and reading

Books

Also find ideas for class projects on the Activities page in Educators’ Resources.

Book Float Projects

As an editor for SIRS Discoverer who has children in elementary school, I like to pay attention to my children’s assignments at school to inform my editorial selections. I believe this adds a layer of personal relevancy to my work. Many projects in elementary school have a research component and that’s where SIRS Discoverer is very valuable as an age-appropriate resource.

My daughter’s 4th grade class was assigned a “Book Float” project this year. I had never heard of these projects before, but after a little research, I found that they are a common 4th grade project.

The idea is to make a shoebox into a miniature parade float based on the theme of a recently read book. The students have to make a 3-D scene from the book, write a summary, rate the book, and present it to the class.

My daughter chose the book “Matilda” by Roald Dahl. She really enjoyed reading the book and the book float was really fun to make. Here are some photos of the finished product. The printed pictures are some scenes from the book, the hearts represent Matilda’s kindness, and the miniature books represent Matilda’s love for reading.

book float 1

Image by Jennifer Oms

book float 2

Image by Jennifer Oms

Teachers, a great place to learn about children’s books is in SIRS Discoverer! Here are some subject searches in ProQuest SIRS Discoverer to get you started:

Children’s books

Books and reading

Books

Read-Aloud Plays for Teachers and Students

Many elementary school classes like to perform short plays. It helps the students with their reading skills, memorization, public speaking, and more. My daughter’s third-grade class performed a short play for some of the students this year! They performed a Native American play called “The Strongest One.” It was great to see all of the students working together during the performance and having a great time too. They even asked questions to the audience afterwards about the message behind the play–how all things are connected within our environment.

"The Strongest One" Play Performed by Third-Grade Students

“The Strongest One” Play Performed by Third-Grade Students
Image by Jennifer Oms

A great place for teachers to find read-aloud plays for elementary school students is in SIRS Discoverer! You can find a great collection of plays for many different reading levels. From historical fiction to mysteries to fantasies and more. Here are some examples:

The Ballad of John Henry Storyworks

The Case of the Gooey Chocolate SuperScience

The Spiderwick Chronicles Storyworks

And from SIRS Discoverer WebFind, here is a resource for more children’s plays:

ZOOM Playhouse: Act Up and Put On a Play PBS

SIRS Discoverer also has a great collection of fictional read-aloud stories for children such as:

Hannah and the Birdman Storyworks

The Day That Lasted All Night Click

For all our your researching needs, turn to SIRS Discoverer.

United States Research Projects

This is the time of year for class projects. My daughter’s 3rd grade class was assigned a project for social studies. Each student chooses a state in the U.S. and once the project is complete, they present it to the class. There are 38 students in both 3rd grade classes, so they were able to cover most of the states. Some students used poster board with pictures and text (see photo below), some constructed dioramas, and others wrote a report and brought in photos and postcards. The teacher encouraged the students to wear clothes associated with the assigned state, or to bring in foods common in that state. I think this is a great way to learn new information about the United States.

TN state project

Tennessee State Project
Image by Jennifer Oms

Something that helped my daughter while she was doing her research was SIRS Discoverer Country Facts and CultureGrams States Edition. These products offer wonderful information on each state in the U.S.

SIRS Discoverer State Facts includes a statehood timeline, map and flag, state symbol photos, population information, and more! In addition, SIRS Discoverer offers Country Facts and Canada Facts.

ProQuest SIRS Discoverer: Country Facts--Tennessee

ProQuest SIRS Discoverer: Country Facts–Tennessee

 

CultureGrams States Edition includes a detailed map of each state, flag, symbols, interesting facts about each state, population information, history, and more. CultureGrams also offers the Provinces Edition, World Edition, and Kids Edition.

CultureGrams States Edition

ProQuest CultureGrams: States Edition

Both products offer beautiful, full-color, printable PDFs for each state. Next time your students have a class project, turn to SIRS Discoverer and CultureGrams!

How do you approach research of U.S. states in your classroom? Comment below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

100th Day of School

100th day of school

Example class bulletin board featuring items that students brought to count for the 100th day of school.
Photo credit: mrsdkrebs / Foter / CC BY

 

The 100th day of school is fast approaching (it usually occurs in January or February each year). Many schools across the country celebrate the 100th day of school. It’s not only a milestone, but also a great opportunity for teachers to practice math with their students. This is especially important in preschool and kindergarten, where students are learning their numbers. But it also provides good activities for all elementary-level students.

For example, some teachers will ask students to bring in “100” of something. It could be a collection of paperclips, or macaroni noodles, or buttons. The possibilities are endless! This year, my son, who is in preschool, is bringing in a collection of 100 animal fact cards that we collected from National Geographic Little Kids magazines. We laid out all the cards on the floor and I helped him count all the way to 100. In preschool, most children are only counting up to 20, so this activity is a good way to introduce more numbers. It’s also good to count by 10s with them.

100 Things from Highlights for Children is a cute story about a girl who is trying to find 100 things to bring in for the 100th day of school celebration. This story, along with other great math resources, can be found on SIRS Discoverer.

Also see wonderful websites featured in SIRS Discoverer’s WebFind for more ideas on 100th day of school activities:

100th Day of School

Celebrate the 100th day of School

100th Day of School Activities

Back-to-School with SIRS: Healthy Behaviors to Boost Academic Success

strawberries-498207_1280

Strawberries by Unsplash [Public Domain] via Pixabay

Hello educators! The beginning of the school year is a good time to remind your students about healthy habits to alleviate back-to-school blues and promote academic success. Three important—and interwoven–healthy habits are good nutrition, adequate sleep and physical exercise.

Just how important are these three healthy habits for academic performance and well-being?

The benefits are many and include alleviation of stress, improved physical and mental wellbeing, and better concentration and critical thinking ability in the classroom.

With SIRS Issues Researcher, set your students on the path to academic success and good health by having them research the benefits long-term healthy behaviors. Here are some subject headings to get them started:

  • Children, Health and hygiene
  • Children, Nutrition
  • Exercise for youth
  • School children, Food
  • Sleep deprivation

Students can enter one of the subject headings above into the search box or use keyword/natural language searching to retrieve newspapers, magazines, multimedia and more.

Good classroom debate topics that relate to health and wellness are covered in our Leading Issues under the Drugs, Health and Wellness group, and include topics such as Fad Diets, Obesity and Sports for Children.

We wish you and your students a happy and healthy school year. Share with us in the comment box below what you are doing to promote healthy habits in your classroom!