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Kindergarten Counts Up to the Big 1-0-0

elementary student holding a bag above his head smilingIn the kindergarten hallway of Pequenakonck Elementary School, a certain number was on everyone's lips. The students had been eagerly working towards this number since the first day of school. They counted everything around them, first one by one, then by fives, and by tens, until they finally reached their goal. On Thursday, the classroom doors, walls, calendars, and even the paper crowns the kindergarteners wore proudly proclaimed they had successfully mastered counting to 100 by the 100th day of school.

The day was full of celebrations and activities to commemorate their accomplishment. Students created necklaces using 100 fruit loops, searched for 100 hidden chocolates around the classroom, and built towers with 100 cups.

Rebecca Donofrio's class built imaginative structures, which took teamwork, compromise, and problem-solving to use precisely 100 objects. 

"There was excellent problem-solving when your group had different ideas, and you all compromised to find an idea that would work for everyone," said Donofrio. "You thought like a palm tree and were flexible."

Her students also brought in 100 items from home, and they compared and contrasted the collections. Although 100 marbles and 100 pom poms appeared similar, they quickly discovered a drastic weight difference. 

Family members joined the festivities in Gianna Rossi's classroom to make a special 100th Day snack.

"To celebrate the day, we're making 10 groups of 10 snacks to add up to 100. This project is a mix of problem-solving, math skills, and, the best part, edible manipulatives," said Rossi as she passed out mini marshmallows, popcorn, and other bite-sized treats.

Kindergartener Lexi credits her sisters' help with practicing counting at home. "Her older sisters tested her at home, so she practiced in order to prove herself to them," said her mom, Laura Favreau.

Kristin Sinclair has noticed her son using his math skills at home. "He's counting at home all the time. He gathers his toys, puts them into piles, and counts them. He counts his stuffed animals, too," she said.

When asked about his next goal, kindergartener Brayden was quick to answer. "I'm going to count to 200 next!" he said.