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100th Day Celebrations
Sharie Stelzel, an ELL teacher from Wharton, Texas, tells about an international Internet celebration of the 100th day of school.
By Sharie Stelzel
This year, students all over the United States and the world took part in a100th Day Celebration on the Internet by sending and receiving e-mail messages to each other. The 100th day refers to the hundredth day of school, and students around the world celebrated this day in a variety of ways. To learn about the different celebrations, and about other schools in the world, students shared their experiences with each other through e-mail. This is the story of just one of the schools that participated in that project.
kids in front of map
Sharie's students heard from classes around the world for their 100th Day project.
My English Language Learners (ELL) classes at C.G. Sivells Elementary School enjoyed participating in the 100th Day Celebration that took place between December 1997 and March 1998. My 16 first grade students, twelve second grade students, and five third grade students sent e-mail messages to all 50 states in the U.S. and about 10 countries around the world. The e-mail message told each recipient about the class and what the class was planning to do to celebrate the 100th day of school.
     In return, the ELL classes received 153 e-mail messages, from 44 states and eight countries. New York schools sent the most e-mail messages in the U.S. group, and Canada sent the most messages in the international group. We also heard from Japan, Germany, Finland, Romania, Australia, South Africa, and Spain.
The classes wrote that their school, Sivells Elementary, was located in Wharton, Texas, which is about 60 miles southwest of Houston, Texas and about 60 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. It was important to tell our correspondants where the school was located, because each participant class posted a map that marked where all the e-mails messages had been sent from. My classes had two maps and displays. One map marked how many messages came from each state that responded, and the other map marked the countries around the world that responded.
kids in front of computer
Students who participated in the international Internet celebration on the 100th day of school stand in front of their classroom computers.
The ELL classes told the 100th Day keypals about their 100th day project, and explained what would be done to celebrate the 100th day. For their project, they had four stations, each with four tables, where they used objects to count various ways to 100. At station one, the students had to count the objects by twos; at two, they counted by fives; at three, by 10s; and at four, they counted the objects by ones, and put them into groups of 25, to make one hundred objects. Some of the objects the students brought from home to use at the stations included: rice, beans, mini-marshmallows, marbles, M&M's, Skittles, pretzel sticks, cotton balls, Q-tips, pebbles, Froot Loops, pennies, and others. The students rotated through the stations, and through all four tables in each station, so that everyone was able to count every kind of object, and have the opportunity to count to 100 in many different ways.
The classes also received messages from the other schools that told what they did to celebrate, and their stories were interesting too. One class in North Carolina had a cake with one hundred lit candles, whose smoke set off their fire alarm! After the fire drill, the class laughed about their experience. An e-mail message from Ohio told about another ELL class that had 16 students who spoke 14 different languages! That class celebrated 100th Day with a food tasting party of foods from their native countries.
This 100th Day project was a wonderful experience for all of my classes. They learned that there are ELL classes all around the world.
This 100th Day project was a wonderful experience for all of my classes. They learned that there are ELL classes all around the world. One group from South Africa wrote about all the languages that are spoken in their class, including Zulu. A class from Fire Island, New York wrote that their ELL class that included Native American dialects, and still another class from Alaska wrote about the Inuit Eskimos. All of the messages were very interesting; using the Internet helped open up the world to the students who participated in all the fun.

Look at some interesting Internet sites for ELL!
A few picks by the SCRTEC staff:
1. Common Errors. This page has some of the most common errors in English. It's not just for ELL either! Take note!
2. Dave's ESL Cafe. This site has literally hundreds of things to do and gets daily visitors from around the world. Many links are especially for your students.
3. ESL Lesson Plans. This page is maintained by the Internet TESL Journal, and contains links to lessons and activities, many of which use technology.

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Sharie Stelzel is an ELL teacher in Wharton, Texas. Read more about this author.
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