Nobody was playing around with "1, 2, skip a few, 99, 100" as they counted out crayons, rubber bands, macaroni, pennies, and envelopes.
This was important stuff, on an important day - an event looked forward to with much anticipation.
After a slew of snow days, some area schools finally - hurrah! - marked 100 Day with sweet and delicious fun.
Each year, many schools across the Toledo area celebrate the 100th day of classes, typically at the elementary level where students collect 100 items to put on display for a day; read stories about 100 ants or pants or 100 worries or warts; stir together 100 items in trail-mix stew, or whip up an ice cream treat with 100 items.
"Well, 100 Day is cool. It's the best day of school. We have so much fun. It is so much fun," said Mason Sprague, using his voice to underline "so much" in his sentences. "It just really is. It is probably the best day of my life." He stops to take a breath. "Well, it is."
Mason, a first-grade student at Coy Elementary School in the Oregon City Schools district, came to class last Friday decked out with 100 stickers on his shirt. "There are stickers all over the back of my shirt, too," he said. Stickers with such sayings as "Wow" or "Good work" or, fittingly, "100%" on the shirt's front.
Some parents spent the night before 100 Day gluing rhinestones, sewing buttons, or sticking stickers to shirts for their sons and daughters to wear. Some kids came to school with homemade necklaces with 100 pieces of noodles or cereal.
Paige Smith's sparkling shirt, with 100th Day spelled out in rhinestones, was supposed to be a surprise, but "my brother was helping my mom and he told," the first-grade student in Julie Marciniak's class at Coy said. "So it wasn't a surprise."
For Paige, 100 Day was a major milestone. "It's very, very cool. It is very fun. Last year we were in kindergarten and we did 100 Day crowns, but this year, we got to bring in our 100 Day bags, and everything was very, very fun."
Scooching into a circle on the floor of their classroom, Ms. Marciniak's students didn't need rhinestones to sparkle. Their eyes, and their pint-sized personalities, were shining as their teacher started off the guessing game for just what was hidden in those white bags with "Happy 100 Day" in bright red lettering.
It took several guesses to correctly identify items in most of the bags, and students guarded their secret stash as others guessed.
Emmanuel Gonzalez gave good clues: something bright, colorful, and sticky, but it wasn't stickers, tape, or gooey candy. He stumped them. He brought 100 marshmallows.
Pudding and Play-Doh were guessed for Makhayla Delaney's white, kind of soft items which turned out to be torn pieces of paper, a very clever 100 Day item.
Students were asked to find 100 items at their homes, meaning they weren't supposed to go out and buy new stuff.
Megan Korb hinted that her 100 Day items were yellow, something you can eat, and started with a P. "Actually, with an M," she corrected herself. Katie Sue Talton guessed correctly macaroni.
Students had fun trying to guess that Skylar Germano brought in straws and for Chad Drown, it was 100 Pokemon cards.
It wasn't all fun and games. Okay, it was, but the teachers stealthily tucked into the fun and games a gob of lessons to help students hone math, reading, art, and writing skills.
They did some estimating, dividing, tallying, counting of items; they wrote a few sentences about how they would spend $100 (prompted by jumbo $100 funny money bills), and they listened to or read stories and poems.
A tasty treat: tallying how many licks it takes to get to the middle of a Tootsie Pop (roughly, and noisily, about 200).
Megan Korb wore a shirt with blue, green, yellow, pink, and purple buttons shaped into a message: "I love 100 Day," and she said she really does love 100 Day "because it is so fun. You get to eat candy. You can read books."
Chase Berry, who had 100 stickers of trucks, cars, planes, vans, and other things that move, including boats on his back, said "100 Day is fun. You get to do lots of games."
Tiny frogs, 100 of course, hopped across Jacob Kersh's shirt. "I like frogs. I love 100 Day. You get to play a lot of fun games."
On a chart where students have been charting "What would you want 100 of?" the most tallies were for friends. Frogs, dogs, and teddy bears got some marks, too.
Ms. Marciniak said 100 Day is "one of my favorite days of the year with them. There is so much anticipation."
By 100 days into the school year, with about 80 remaining, the students are well on their ways to reading and writing. "The light bulbs have come on in their heads, and the bulbs are flashing," she said. Perhaps 100 flashes or so.
"Are we doing 100 Day again?" the students asked.
And the teacher said: "No, now we're at 101 Day now."
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