It is an understatement to say I love numbers. I have fashioned a career (in part) by understanding numbers and using that knowledge in my job. Even if you don’t love numbers as I do, knowledge of numbers and their use is fundamental to being a scholar, leader, and citizen. For the youngest of our students, simply learning the concept of numbers is an essential first step in their education.
Tuesday is the 100th day of school. Every year, our kindergarten students celebrate the day by bringing to school 100 of something of their choice. Examples from past projects include tootsie rolls, marshmallows, and pennies. I love this project, because it allows our youngest students the opportunity to understand the number 100 in a hands-on and personal manner. And, the choice of the number 100 is not an arbitrary one; 100 represents 10 groups of ten. This is a fun way to orient the smallest of our learners to our base-10 number system. Also, they learn that a number can represent tangible things, like jelly beans or marbles, and intangibles, like days. As with so many kindergarten lessons here at James River, the project seems a lot like play, but there is so much more going on.
A number can also be a symbol. For me, reaching 100 days of in-person schooling represents a significant and meaningful milestone. At the start of the school year in late August, despite making a thoughtful plan for in-person schooling, none of us really knew if things would work out. But, we have made it this far, and it’s because of the continued cooperation and partnership between the school, our parents, and our students. We could not have gotten this far without you, and I am so grateful.