15 Must-Try 100th Day of School Activities

Everything from creative collections of 100, craft projects, math games, to writing projects and more!

1. Make a class list of 100 words the children can spell on their own.

2. Make art with 100 dot stickers.

3. Make a list of 100 things as a class they wish they had and 100 things they do not want.

4. Donate 100 canned goods as a class.

canned goods

5. Make monsters with 100 googly eyes.

6. Decorate crazy 100th day hats.

100th day of school hat

7. Make necklaces out of 100 fruit loops.

8. Work as a class to complete 100 acts of kindness.

9. Decorate drawings of what the students would look like at 100 years old.

10. Write about what you would do with $100.

11. Dress up as 100 years old.

12. Draw a tree using 100 thumbprints as the leaves.

13. Students bring 100 small items that fit in a quart size zip lock bag.

14. Make a “Before I’m 100” bucket list.

15. Make shapes/characters using the numbers “1”, “0” and “0”.

 

Have the best 100th day of school!!!

Tips For Reaching Students With Autism

Teaching a student with autism can be a challenge. Their learning styles are often different from those of most other students, and it may even seem that they are taking no interest in the lessons. Usually, however, this is not the case, and the student is simply overwhelmed and needs lessons tailored to the way they learn. This article contains tips for reaching your autistic students and will help you understand their needs better. Before long, teaching a student with autism will be as easy as teaching a student who does not have autism.

 

Use Simple, Concrete Language

Due to the nature of autism, people with this condition do not always understand abstractions, idioms or figures of speech. They may take your words literally and attempt to do exactly what you said. This attempt on their part and your subsequent disappointment can be very frustrating. Simple, concrete language works better as there is no wording to confuse your student.

 

Put Tasks in Sequential Order

If what you are trying to teach is complex, put your tasks in sequential order. Some people with autism have difficulty recognizing the order in which things go, so it can be a help to give them the tasks in the order they need to be accomplished. Breaking down larger tasks into smaller chunks can also be a big help. This way, the student does not get confused or overwhelmed and can more effectively focus on their work.

 

Choices

Choices can be important to any child, but especially to a student with autism. However, too many choices can be confusing. If possible, give your students with autism only two or three choices. That way you do not overwhelm them. Further, do not leave choices open-ended. You are likely to get better results by asking the student whether they would rather read or draw than by asking them what they would like to do.

 

Avoid Distractions

Some students with autism can find colorful wall displays or noise to be distracting. If you are doing a task which requires concentration, allow your student with autism access to a quiet, distraction-free area. This minimization of distraction will help your students concentrate, and will make the task much easier for them.

 

Have a Clear Routine

Children with autism do best when there is a clear daily routine and clear expectations set for them. Avoid changing this routine. If your routine must change, then be sure to warn the child that there is a change in the routine so that they have time to prepare. Changes in routine can lead to anxiety for students with autism. This anxiety can then lead to outbursts and misbehaving.

 

Teaching a student with autism may seem daunting, but it does not have to be. With some preparation and patience and the tips listed above, there will be less frustration for both you and your student. They will have an easier time learning the material, and will not get nearly so anxious. The less anxious your student is, the fewer outbursts they will have and the more smoothly the school day will go. That is something

The Importance of Teacher Appreciation Year-Round

Most people have that one teacher that they will never forget, the person who taught them to think outside the box, to believe in themselves. Many communities have Teacher Appreciation Week. Sometimes, students buy their teachers gifts for the holidays. However, those are just a few days a year events. Teacher appreciation needs to be a year-round affair. Teachers who feel that they are appreciated have higher morale. This translates into a desire to work harder to make sure that their students succeed. Beyond that, appreciated teachers are less likely to quit their jobs. Showing our teachers how vital they are also improves the classroom atmosphere for everyone.

 

Increasing Morale

A teacher’s job is never easy. They have to deal with school restrictions, restrictions on their classroom funding, and depending on the school they may even have to deal with a lack of teacher support from their superiors. All these factors can really lower a teacher’s morale, making them feel like they are in an endless struggle to do their jobs. Teachers who feel as if their job is a constant struggle are more likely to quit their jobs to move to schools in which they are better supported or to leave the profession altogether. However, teachers who feel that their contributions matter are much more likely to stay at a school even if the support from the administration is low. In short, community support for teachers is just as important as support from within the school environment itself.

 

Showing Teachers They Matter

Teachers work very hard for their students. When their colleagues, students and parents show them that they have done well, it gives the teacher concrete proof that they are not teaching into a vacuum and that their students appreciate their efforts. The support from colleagues is especially valuable. It shows teachers that their co-workers also recognize what they are doing for the children under their care, and this show of support from parents, students and co-workers is important all year round, not just during Teacher Appreciation Week. Furthermore, if a teacher has positive feedback on their performance, they can use that input to tailor their methods to better assist the students. This then gives the students a better learning experience.

 

Teacher appreciation is very important. Under-appreciated teachers are 12% more likely to transfer to schools with better support. This transfer rate leaves schools with higher poverty rates and fewer resources understaffed. Teachers in less affluent districts who are not shown  appreciation are also 10% more likely to simply leave the profession entirely. Showing teachers that they matter is an excellent way to increase their morale. Teachers who feel appreciated and supported report higher rates of satisfaction with their jobs and are therefore much more likely to stay at their current schools instead of moving to other schools or finding other professions to go into.

It is not just about morale though. Showing teachers that they actually do help students  allows them to evaluate the things that they have done that have been a benefit and then to work to improve their teaching style. Without positive feedback, teachers would never know what they needed to improve or what they are doing well. Teacher appreciation does not even have to be complicated. Just a simple note to tell that teacher who helped you so much during high school is enough, and it will make you feel good as well.

How the School Library Promotes Independent Learning

Although school libraries’ role is shifting in the digital age, they are still a critical resource for students in fostering the skills for independent learning.

The Internet has changed how information is consumed, and some have even questioned whether libraries still have a role in the modern school system. However, libraries have and continue to adapt, offering critical support for student success. In fact, a well-equipped and staffed library is a key differentiator of the most successful schools.

Libraries continue to be important for student success because they don’t just offer access to books and resource materials—they also help students become independent learners.

 

What is Independent Learning?

As defined by Brightside, independent learning is “when an individual is able to think, act and pursue their own studies autonomously, without the same levels of support you receive from a teacher at school.”

In other words, independent learning is the ability to learn on one’s own, without outside support.

 

Why Does Independent Learning Matter?

When a child becomes an independent learner, limits on their education begin to dissolve. An independent learner is free to discover new books and pursue what they are curious about, from bugs to baseball to why the sky is blue.

This can, in turn, reinvigorate the learning process for students, even in the classroom, and turn them into lifelong learners who will continue to grow and learn long after they graduate.

These are critical life skills that will help their grades in school, their job performance in adulthood, and overall life enrichment.

 

How do Libraries Support Independent Learning?

To start, libraries offer access to a wide range of books and materials, both print and digital. Studies have shown that students are better, more avid readers when they have a wide range of engaging materials available to them.

Perhaps even more importantly, librarians help students become critical researchers. Mainstream search engines tend to produce results based on what a person has searched for and clicked on in the past. This means that search results reaffirm the searcher’s bias. But a school librarian can help students learn to apply strong research methods, evaluate the quality of provided information, and seek out balanced resources.

In a digital world, these are important skills not just for the classroom, but for life.

 

A Skill Set to Get Ahead

An independent learner is motivated, curious, and able to overcome challenges. These are qualities that would serve every child well and help them reach their potential. School libraries have a big role to play in developing this skill set in children, and schools can help their students get ahead by supporting them.

20 Ways to Show Appreciation for Teachers

Teacher Appreciation Day this year is May 3. What are you doing to appreciate the teachers in your life or in the lives of your family? If you do not yet know what you will be doing, then please allow me to offer some suggestions. After all, teachers do some of the hardest work in the world right up there with nurses. They present our students with information necessary for their success, but teachers do much more than that. Many people report that a special teacher was the difference between success and failure for them or was their mentor when things were going badly at home. That is why teacher appreciation is important. However, your gifts to your teachers do not have to be elaborate. In this article, we will discuss twenty teacher appreciation gifts that will not break your bank.

 

Write a Note

Perhaps the best teacher appreciation gift is a note. Tell the teacher in your life how much they matter. If you are a parent, tell them how much you feel that they have helped your child. If your child likes that teacher as well, then they could make a note of their own, mentioni1ng some of their favorite experiences in class.

 

Send an Apple

It may seem slightly cliche, but an apple is a good gift for a teacher, preferably a glass one that can serve as a paperweight or desk ornament. Apples of this kind never go bad, and you do not have to worry about accidentally triggering any food allergies. As a bonus, an apple of this type will last for years to come and will be a gift the teacher can hold onto and display in their classroom.

 

Make Custom T-shirts

Custom t-shirts can be a great way to show a special teacher they matter. Get together with other parents or other classmates if you are a student, and decide on a design. Then you as a group can present the finished shirt to the special teacher.

 

Treat A Teacher

Get together with your classmates or other parents and make a small lunch for the teachers at your school. This is a great way to show all the teachers you appreciate them. Be careful to include foods that can be eaten by anyone regardless of food preferences or allergies. Foods that can be eaten with your hands, such as small sandwiches with a variety of fillings and breads work well for this. That way, the teachers can make their own sandwiches the way they like them. Be sure to ask the school’s permission before doing this one, especially if you are a student.

 

Pamper The Teachers

Teachers work hard every single day. During Teacher Appreciation Week, why not pamper them? With the administrators’ permission, set aside a space. Then hire a nail technician to come in and do the teachers’ nails or give hand massages with hot lotions. Every time the teacher looks down at their hands, it will become clear how much they matter.

 

Cookie Coupons

Slide coupons for cookies into teachers’ mailboxes. Then arrange with the cafeteria to allow teachers to retrieve the coupons. Alternatively, if you know the teacher’s favorite type of cookie, small packages of homemade treats could be inserted in the mailboxes instead.

 

Take Over the Class

With permission, take over the class of a special teacher for one period for a read-aloud session. You could read a favorite book and do a follow-up activity. This gives the teacher a chance to catch a break or do some planning activities. For older children and teenagers, you might do a writing activity.

 

Provide Special Gifts

Find out what sorts of things your teachers enjoy. Then keep an eye out for gifts that match those interests. For example, if the teacher in question loves knitting, you could get them a new book of patterns.

 

Gift Certificates

Give gift certificates for special teachers. Make the gift certificates redeemable at any point, and give the teacher a choice of which certificate they choose.

 

Recognize Birthdays

If you know of a teacher who is having a birthday, celebrate with them. Organize a small party for the teacher and be sure to wish them a happy birthday.

 

Send Encouraging Words

Attach an apple sticker to a blank piece of cardstock. Ask the principal to begin the chain by sending out the first five cards with words of encouragement written on them to five faculty members. Then ask those five people to send the chain onward. Be sure to recognize every staff member in this project.

 

Send Flowers

Most people like fresh flowers. Send a special teacher a bouquet of fresh flowers for their desks. They will brighten up the desk and smell lovely while making the teacher who receives them feel special.

 

Do Lunch

Take a special teacher out for lunch outside of school if you know them well. During lunch, make sure to tell the teacher they matter.

 

Provide Coffee Mugs

Coffee mugs make a great gift for teachers. You can provide a coffee mug with the teacher’s name on it. That way they can feel appreciated as they drink their morning beverage of choice.

 

Buy Supplies

If you know of a supply that teachers are missing, you could buy a stash of that supply for the classroom. That way the teachers do not have to spend their own money to furnish the classroom.

 

Purchase a Special Book

Purchase a special book to commemorate a teacher on a special occasion such as a twentieth teaching anniversary or retirement. The book will then have the teacher’s name in the back, and students for years to come will be able to honor that teacher. Allow the teacher to pick which book to buy.

 

Chocolate for Teachers

Buy boxes of candy for special teachers. Put these boxes in their mailboxes for them to find.

 

Stress Balls

Teachers are often very stressed. Slip a stress ball into each mailbox.

 

Give a Reward

Sometimes simple rewards are the best. Give special teachers blue ribbons that proclaim them the best teachers.

 

Vacation

If you are the principal of the school, provide your teachers with a coupon for a local attraction that they could go see with their families. It is nice to know that administrators appreciate you both in and out of school.

 

Teacher appreciation is very important. Teachers need to know they matter. Now that you have read this article, you have some great ideas to let them know just how much they matter.

Do Strong Libraries Boost Student Achievement?

In a time when budgets are tight, every aspect of education is assessed for its value, and school libraries are no exception. Do school libraries contribute significantly to student achievement?

Research into the answer to this important question dates to the 1960s. And for just as long, a strong correlation has been found between library resources and student success.

Here are seven research findings that reflect the importance of libraries for student achievement:

  • Studies in the early 1960s found a correlation between elementary schools with centralized school libraries staffed by certified school librarians, and increased average test score gains. An ever-growing body of research has backed up her findings since.
  • A study of schools in Colorado showed that students had better reading scores on standardized tests when they had access to a school librarian, even after controlling for outside factors like poverty.
  • In a 2004 assessment of existing research, a correlation was found between access to good libraries and children who read more and performed better on reading tests. This was particularly true in areas of poverty, where libraries are often children’s only access to books.
  • In a 2003 comparison of schools with and without librarians, students at high schools with a librarian performed an average 8 percent better in reading achievement, and students at elementary schools with a librarian performed 35 percent better.
  • The more time librarians spent collaborating with teachers, taught information literacy, and provided in-service teacher training, the higher students scored on tests, according to a 2000 study.
  • When teachers collaborate with librarians, they were three times more likely to rate their literacy program as “excellent,” in a 2009 study.
  • A study of third, fourth and fifth graders showed that students with a full-time librarian had 4-5 percent higher scoring proficiency. These schools also had a lower number of students who scored “unsatisfactory” by 2-3 percent absolute difference. (The same results applied for programs with one and a half FTE library staff.)

Because every school system, body of students, library, and librarian is a little different, assessing exact impacts of a given program on students can be complicated. But even across many different assessments over many different years and across several different states, the correlation between school libraries, trained librarians, and student success remains consistent.

The bottom line is clear: Strong libraries make for stronger teachers and stronger students.

100 Awesome Science Fair Project Ideas

Science fairs are a fun and interactive way to learn about how the world works in an up-close and personal, hands-on manner that  allows a person to showcase their favorite fields. But with so many interesting experiments in the world, how do you narrow your focus down to just one question you want to answer or hypothesis to test? Below is a list of one hundred interesting ideas to help you out in that all-important search for your next science fair project topic. The ideas cover a varied list of fields of study and a wide range of subjects from astronomy to zoology and everything between.

These projects are perfect starter ideas to get you thinking if you are stuck. But they can also be used on their own to create an awesome project that will wow your family, friends and classmates and may even make you the winner of your next science fair.

 

  • How Does a Hovercraft Work?
  • How do Duck Feet Swim?
  • Design Aerodynamic Paper Airplanes
  • Which Kite Flies Best?
  • Race Milk Carton Boats.
  • What Are Saturn’s Rings?
  • Build an Astrolabe
  • Test Evaporation Speed of Liquids.
  • Do Tea and Coffee Stain Teeth?
  • Best Methods for Cleaning Coins
  • Vinegar and Baking Soda Balloon Inflation
  • How Do Butterflies Fly?
  • What is the Link Between the Moon and Tides?
  • Why are there Seasons?
  • Can Chewing Gum help you Recall Information More Easily?
  • Which Food Molds Fastest?
  • Physical Effects of Digital Gaming
  • Make a Potato Clock
  • Does Hair Color Impact Personality?
  • Is The Five-Second Rule Reliable?
  • Build a volcano.
  • Solar oven.
  • Does music affect plant growth?
  • Do people like natural scents best?
  • Does fertile soil conduct electricity more effectively?
  • Static electricity. Does the color of hair affect conductivity?
  • Climate change and ecosystems.
  • Test food acidity.
  • Test water for microorganisms.
  • Can soda dissolve bone?
  • Test ideal stargazing conditions.
  • Build a lever.
  • Test minerals for fluorescence.
  • Make a string telephone.
  • Design a device to prevent a dropped egg from smashing.
  • Create fossils.
  • Build a model cell.
  • How do plant leaves get water?
  • Make an ant farm.
  • Grow a crystal.
  • Can plants sunburn?
  • How much water is in fruit?
  • Use iodine vapor to detect fingerprints.
  • How are taste and smell linked?
  • Effects of dehydration on a potato.
  • Make homemade lightning.
  • What makes blood pressure rise?
  • Discover the iron in breakfast cereal.
  • How does sun block work?
  • Peanut power.
  • Test the energy of moving water.
  • What material conducts electricity best?
  • Structural soundness: Which shapes are strongest?
  • How does plate tectonics work?
  • How do fish breathe?
  • Why are bubbles round?
  • Best conditions for popping popcorn.
  • What causes static electricity?
  • Make a gear.
  • How does blubber work?
  • Pollution and water sources.
  • What battery brand lasts longest?
  • Build a model of the human heart.
  • Demonstrate the water cycle.
  • Build a soap-powered boat.
  • Will birds eat oddly-colored seeds?
  • Make a geyser.
  • Make homemade slime.
  • Do bacteria look different?
  • How does milk become butter?
  • Can you make eggs bounce?
  • Make a prism.
  • Build a molecule.
  • Does hot air expand?
  • What is buoyancy?
  • Does salt in water increase buoyancy?
  • Which object is densest?
  • Sugar and salt. Which dissolves fastest.
  • Make non-frozen ice cream.
  • How do plants reproduce?
  • What colors attract bees??
  • Raise a caterpillar.
  • Do worms help plants grow?
  • Grow plants in up-side-down pots.
  • PH of various soils.
  • How do germs spread?
  • Information retention while distracted.
  • What is noise pollution.
  • What makes stars shine?
  • Grow a plant in air.
  • Rock and mineral display.
  • Make a magnifying glass.
  • What microorganisms live in air?
  • What substances conduct sound best?
  • When does bread mold fastest?
  • Parts of a seed.
  • Why is cold air denser?
  • Different types of cells.
  • Which feathers fly farthest?
  • Perform some optical illusions.

 

Science is all around you. Every time you wonder how the world works, that is science in action. A science fair, and the project ideas listed above are a catalyst for science and for your own understanding of the world’s workings. And if you win the science fair, that is just another bonus.

Mother’s Day Crafts for the Classroom

If you are a teacher, Mother’s Day is an excellent time to get your students’ creative juices flowing. Celebrating an important female relative in a child’s life, whether they are a mother or not, gives students both a chance to show those people how they feel and a chance to stretch their imaginations. As a bonus, other lessons can be worked into these crafts such as color, perspective, creative writing and explanations of types of art that the students may not know. The possibilities are endless. If you are looking for ideas for your own classroom’s Mother’s Day crafts, look no further. Below are some of the best Mother’s Day craft ideas out there.

 

Write a Poem

Poems are a wonderful way to show someone you care. Have your students write poems for the special women in their lives. This craft is an excellent way to discuss rhymes, pacing and phrasing. The students could print their new poems inside cards they decorated themselves.

 

Photo Cards

Use a camera to snap photos of your students standing with their arms held out as if they are giving a hug. Trim these photos into heart shapes and attach them to Mother’s Day cards. Allow your students to decorate around their photos and write letters inside the cards. This craft is an amazing writing practice.

 

Coupon Books

Give your students pieces of cardstock and have them decorate them. The cardstock will become the covers for a coupon book for their mother or special woman in their life. Then you can either pick up free coupons from local businesses or ask your students to come up with coupons that their mother can redeem at any time, such as a coupon for a free hug or a coupon that entails that the student will do the dishes one night so that their mother can have a break.

 

Origami Roses

There are free printable instructions for making all kinds of origami online. Get colorful paper and help your students fold origami roses for their mothers. If you have enough time and paper, each student could fold a small bouquet of roses. These bouquets can then be tied with ribbon bows and presented to their mothers. Unlike real roses, these will never wilt and can be used as beautiful keepsakes for years to come. Most students love origami, and this is an excellent way to teach them new shapes.

 

Recipe Book

Each day in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, print a recipe on the blackboard and have your students copy them on plain white paper. Then have them make a cover for the recipe book which they will then give to the special woman in their life. This craft is excellent for teaching good penmanship as well as vocabulary related to cooking. Your students will be delighted to present their homemade recipe books to their mothers.

 

Picture Frames

Have your students decorate special picture frames for the special women in their lives. Be creative! The picture frames can be decorated with paints, stamps, pebbles or shells. Picture frames are cheaply available at most budget outlet stores. Remove the glass before allowing the students to decorate the frames.

 

Clay Pots

Buy very inexpensive clay pots. Then allow your students to decorate them. Do this a few weeks before Mother’s Day. Then sow flower seeds in each pot. Water the flowers as needed and watch them grow. This is both a wonderful present for the special women in your students’ lives and an amazing science lesson about how plants grow and the various types of seeds.

 

Fingerpaint Bookmarks

Make bookmarks from strips of white cardstock. Then allow your students to go absolutely crazy with the finger paints. This is a fun, messy craft and  your students will enjoy getting to finger paint a gift. Poke a hole in the end of the bookmark and add a ribbon to make it extra special once it is dry.

 

Mother’s Day is a wonderful creative time of year. Children are excited to show the special women in their lives just how much they are loved, and mothers, grandmothers and other special ladies are happy to receive gifts from their favorite children. Mother’s Day is also an excellent teaching opportunity. Many important lessons can be taught effectively by craft projects. These lessons include perspective, color choice, creative writing, simple arithmetic skills, penmanship and grammar. As a bonus, these crafts are not expensive. Most of them can be done with found objects or ones bought from budget outlets. The key here is to be creative. Use your imagination and let your creativity flow. The ideas listed above are merely a starting point. Use your imagination and who knows what wonderful ideas you could discover!