Monday, February 02, 2009

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

There's a very important special observation going on in schools around the country. No, it's not Lincoln's Birthday, or Valentine's Day, or even Groundhog Day. It's the 100th day of school, and if you know a kid in Kindergarten or first grade, this day is more important that the president's first 100 days or a day off courtesy of George and Abe. It's an all-day celebration of the progress that has been made in the first half of the school year--The 100th Day of School!

Natasha Wing's The Night Before the 100th Day of School (Reading Railroad), like its story-book siblings set to Clement C. Moore's familiar verse form, is a great way to honor this big day.

'Twas the night before the 100th day
When I started to worry.
What'll I bring to school?
I'll need something in a hurry!

The 100th day of school means every student has to produce a project using 100 of something--and our procrastinating primary grade student can't decide what to feature in his display: 100 socks? 100 photos of the new puppy? 100 pencils? 100 toy cars? Everything easy has already been taken by one classmate or the other, and a quick count of his toys leaves our way boy short even on dinosaur action figures. A raid on the piggy bank reveals far less than 100 of any type of coin. He's desperate for something numerous and cheap for his project!

When what to my wondering
Eye should I see?
No one else will bring ants!
No one but me!

That night while I nestled
All snug in my bed,
Visions of ants, ants, and more ants
Danced in my head!

Clutching his ant farm with 100 six-legged workers, our boy rushes into his classroom, happy to spy the huge cake occupying the largest table, with Happy 100th Day of School spelled out in delicious-looking frosting.

But in his haste to bring his project to the attention of the whole class, there's a bit of a trip and slip on a runaway marble from Mabel's 100, and the ants spill all over the floor. Of course, the little buggers head for the fragrant cake. It looks like the ants will get the cake before the students do. But not to worry! In less than 100 seconds, our lad has a plan.

I headed them off with crumbs from my lunch.
"Go back to the farm!" I told the whole bunch.

The kids get plenty of counting practice rounding up the ants one by one, and everyone, even the twins Dan and Stan, have a new appreciation of the concept of counting to 100. The big day is saved and so is the big cake, that is, until all the projects have had their turn in front of the class. Then the class gets to see how many square slices they can get from a huge rectangular cake!

The Night Before the 100th Day of School (Reading Railroad), is a story you can count on to honor this milestone of the school year.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home