Hi everybody! I wanted to tell you about a really cool day we had at my school. We celebrated the 50th day of school. Ok, I know, you're probably thinking "50th day of school? Most people celebrate the 100th day of school." I've celebrated the 50th day for the last two years and found that it's really helped my children understand the higher numbers in more depth. I think that counting by fives and tens really is the basis for so many skills that our students need for mathematical concepts later in life. It's really essential that we give them a firm foundation in kindergarten.
I dressed as a 1950's girl! I got the costume from a Party Store right before Halloween, and I danced to a swing song by Elvis Presley with my husband. We discussed how life was different in the 1950's (sock hops, soda shops, how people dressed) and even made root bear floats with our kiddos! Here is a great video that we showed. Thanks Stephanie for bringing it to my attention!
My class has also been learning about sorting and classifying, so I combined sorting with grouping by tens by using Fruit Loops to count to 50. I used the following paper, laminated, and the children placed the Fruit Loops on top of the appropriate colors. The great thing about laminating the sheet is you can use it year after year. In the past, I've had them paste the Fruit Loops onto the sheet using marshmallow fluff, but I think that method is just too much sugar. It's healthier with just the cereal.
I also made the following 50's chart where the children can trace the dotted font to help them understand how to make the numbers. My students are constantly making numbers backwards. I know that this is age appropriate for kindergarten, but my county does expect them, on standardized tests, to be able to write the numbers.
Two super songs that I found on Songs for Teaching are:
"Rockin' to 50" by MMMKids
"The Counting Creatures" by Ron Brown
I had the children hold up a plastic hundreds chart, but of course we only used numbers 1 to 50 so that they could see the numbers as we sang the songs.
One project that I loved doing when I was a girl scout (many, many years ago) was making paper chains. I have several kids with fine motor problems this year, and I thought it would be oh-so-nifty to combine counting to 50 with patterning and the fine motor practice. My blue and green tables, for example, used blue and green strips. Each table made their own chain and we hung them up in the hallway along with the 50th day of school projects that my kids made.
Now my kids are super excited about doing the days in school chart that we've been using, and they can't wait for the 100th day! I think I'm going to do this every year now. It was so much fun! Do you do anything special for the 50th day of school? I'd love to hear about it. Write a comment below.