A-counting we will go

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Grant Blattman, 7, works on a project in his classroom at Dayton Elementary School Wednesday.

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Grant Blattman, 7, works on a project in his classroom at Dayton Elementary School Wednesday.

It's not every day a elementary student gets to be 100.

But that's what happened to about 50 Dayton Elementary School students this week as they celebrated the 100th day of school by doing projects that involve the number 100 and by dressing up and pretending to be 100 years old.

The students, in kindergarten through second grade, really got involved in their projects.

Some went online to find out how to make wrinkles.

"We just went on Google and we just got tissue paper and we put makeup on it," said first-grader Amy Redmond. She combined that with a straw hat covered by a scarf and a granny dress, and then put on some attitude.

"Get off my lawn," she snarled like the grumpy old lady she was trying to be.

Second-grader Jeff Walker hobbled along using a cane, wearing fake glasses.

"Who are you calling old?" he demanded to know.

Christine Redmond, also in second grade, was dressed up like her sister, but added groans.

"Oh, my aching back," she said.

The day was the brainchild of teacher Wanda Hanselman, who said she heard about it from a cousin in Tennessee.

She said primary schools have always noted the 100th day of school, but after Hurricane Katrina, they learned from displaced New Orleans teachers how much dressing up and counting added to the experience for the students.

But most were having fun parading through the classrooms, the boys with canes, whiskers and pot bellies, the girls with shawls, hats and wrinkles. But dressing up was not all they did.

Jen Turner's second-grade class had her students walk 100 steps to see how far they got and stay quiet for 100 seconds.

They also counted to $100 and talked about what they could buy with it, Turner said. She also had her students draw pictures of what they might look like at age 100 and write about it.

"It just celebrates that we have been through 100 days of school," Hanselman said. "It's kind of fun to see how far we've come."

The students also sang a little song, to the tune of the dwarf's ditty as they went to work in the classic "Snow White" tale.

"Hi ho, hi ho, 100 days ago, we started school and we're so cool, hi ho, hi ho."

Teacher Lori Sundblad's class were cutting out 10 hearts and putting them in groups of 10, to reach 100. Since there were two classes doing it, she said, "we should hit about 400."

Teacher Jennifer Bailey said she read to the students from "The 100th Day Book" and "Miss Bindergarden Celebrates 100 Days of Kindergarten."

"It's a great opportunity to have the kids count to 100," she said. "It's also good to experience three-digit numbers with the little guys who haven't done it yet."

She also said acknowledging their accomplishments gave the students confidence.

"It helps to remember their accomplishments and how much they've grown and changed in 100 days," she said. "100 days means a lot when you're six."

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or 881-7351.

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