|One of our secret agents at a photo booth area we set up outside|
As we were planning for our 100th day of kindergarten, we knew we wanted to do something different this year. After a lot of brainstorming, it came to us… Mission 100—Save Zero the Hero!
We saw Hope King’s blog post (read about it here) about flipping her classroom into a spy lab. She is a teacher at the Ron Clark Academy, and we have always been so inspired by her. We were so excited to be able to take her spy lab idea and create a classroom flip that met our kindergarten content and standards. The yarn laser beams, black lights, our costumes, and finger scanner came directly from Hope’s Spy Lab Flip post.
As part of our daily calendar routine, we count the number of days we’ve been in school. Every 10th day, Zero the Hero leaves a note and a treat (a math game involving zero, a treat shaped like a zero, something to count, etc.) to celebrate another day ending in zero. Our students were so excited for his visit on the 100th day and could hardly wait to see what special treat he was going to bring. We knew Zero the Hero had to be a part of our mission!
The premise behind our day was that Awful Agent 99 had kidnapped Zero the Hero to thwart our plans for the 100th day. Without Zero the Hero, there could be no 100th day of school, and we would have to repeat day 99 over and over again.
We have tried to explain everything in detail, have included pictures from throughout the day, and included a download for one of the stations. You can also watch two YouTube videos-one explaining how we put the day together CLICK HERE, and one of our day in action CLICK HERE. Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post to the items we purchased for this flip. If you click on the green words, it will take you directly to the item. However, you can also omit some of the items or make them yourself.
Now it was time to transform our classroom into K1 Spy Headquarters. We started by decorating the outside of our classroom with vinyl footprints that led up to our door. We made the sign using Microsoft Stencil and Typewriter fonts. We added crime scene tape, white bankers boxes with red evidence tape and fingerprints on them, an evidence bag, a ransom note on the door (created by Googling a ransom note generator – we used ransomizer.com)
and cardboard cutouts that a parent donated to us. You could also trace the spy silhouettes on black butcher paper.
Inside of our classroom, we hung black plastic sheeting (you could also use black garbage bags) on all of our windows to make the room completely dark. We used five or six magnetic hooks hung on the metal ceiling grids to attach the white yarn “laser beams.” We spread the hooks around the room and attached six long yarn strands to each hook which was the start of each laser beam. From there, the other end of the yarn was attached to table corners, walls, other hooks, etc. to create the illusion of laser beams across the entire room. We used two 24″ black lights and two 48″ black lights to light up the room. We placed the lights, so that they shined on the yarn laser beams. They worked better the higher they were. We had more bankers boxes covered with evidence tape stacked throughout the room. On each table, we had six tap lights for the students to use as they worked. Yellow evidence markers were also placed throughout the room.
When the students arrived, we greeted them in our special spy agent clothes (black pants, a white button up shirt, a black tie, sunglasses, a headset, and a black fedora). Everyone kept thinking we were the Blues Brothers, so next year we’ll add a black jacket to our attire!
To gain access to the spy lab, each secret agent had to be finger scanned. We used a free app called Fingerprint Security Scanner Prank. The app was downloaded to several iPads so parents could help us scan. Once they were given clearance, they entered our spy lab and went to the carpet. We played a video that we made on iMovie. We used a voice changing app to record a message from Awful Agent 99. He explained that he had kidnapped Zero the Hero, and that the secret agents must complete missions throughout the day to gain clues to his whereabouts. If they are successful, they will save Zero the Hero and 100’s Day. If not…
|Secret Agent badge|
It was time for the students to become official secret agents. They were each given a badge with their picture, a plastic fedora, a case file with all of the recording sheets stapled inside, and a glow in the dark bracelet.
We had 48 students that day as both kindergarten classes (AM and PM) came at the same time. We split them into eight groups or teams with six students in each team. Each spy team was given a different color bracelet so we could easily identify where kids were supposed to be. We did four stations inside of the classroom and four stations outside. We were very fortunate to have lots of parent help that day. If you have less students or not as much time, you could omit any of the centers.
|Top Secret case files for each mission|
Each station had a confidential file which included instructions for that “mission.” There was also a top secret envelope that included a one-word clue that was read to each spy team at the end of each “mission” or station. Throughout the day, we played this YouTube video that had “Matrixy” background and music. We created a PowerPoint presentation that included three special missions. Whenever a special mission popped up on the screen, the students had to stop their current missions and solve these special missions to get another clue. For the first special mission, the “agents” had to count to 100 by ones. For the second special mission, the agents had to count by tens while doing sneaky spy moves. For the third and final special mission, the agents had to count by fives to 100.
|Watching the iMovie from Awful Agent 99 as he outlined his demands|
The Mission: We explained to the agents that when we came into the classroom this morning, there were lots of cups laying around the classroom. We were sure that the cups had been used by the Awful Agent 99. Their mission would be to dust the cup for fingerprints, examine the fingerprints to determine what type of fingerprints they were, and to lift the fingerprints. The agents began by scanning a QR code that linked to a short two minute YouTube video about fingerprint science. Click here to see the one we used. It was not overly cutesy, but the students were mesmerized. Then they were each given an evidence bag with the plastic cup inside. We showed them how to dip their brush into the dusting (baby) powder, tap it lightly a few times to remove the excess powder, and to carefully brush the powder all over their cup to reveal the fingerprints. The agents then used a magnifying glass to examine the fingerprints on their cup. Based on the information they learned from the Fingerprint Science video, they discussed what features the fingerprints had. Did they have loops or swirls? Then it was time to lift a fingerprint from the cup. They took a piece of packing tape and placed it on top of a fingerprint, carefully lifted the packing tape off of the cup, and transferred it to the black construction paper square.
|Examining the fingerprints on the evidence cup|
|Making “Hot on the Trail Mix”|
|Recording all of the pins knocked down|
build a structure out of 100 spy gadgets (cups and plates) that would hold 100
pennies. We asked parents to donate the cups and plates. Our students worked in teams of two and had a tub with 80 cups, 20 plates, and a container with 100 pennies. Before they began, we went over the engineering design process. They orally planned their design together and got to work. If their structure fell or could not hold the pennies, they could redesign their plan and try again.
For this mission, agents had to make 100 by cracking the code and finding 10 different ways to make 10. We used orange landscaping spray paint to make ten different ten frames on the grass. Don’t worry…they disappeared after the lawn was mowed! We found these yellow and red mini frisbees on Amazon that we used as counters. We bought enough frisbees, so that we could leave the completed ten frames “up” until the end. You could use counters, crayons, balls, etc. as well. We use giant inflatable dice for our math centers and thought it would be fun to incorporate them into this mission. To “crack the code” they had to…
•roll two dice, add up or count up the total, and put that number of yellow counters in the grass ten frame.
•figure out how many red counters were needed to make 10.
•put that number of red counters in the ten frame.
•say the number combination (example: 3 yellow and 7 red make 10 or and/or 3+7=10).
•go to the next ten frame and roll again.
They always began with the yellow counters. If they rolled a sum that they had already rolled, they had to roll again until they got a number they hadn’t used. We also had a discussion when/if they rolled a sum of 11 or 12, and a discussion about with two dice, we could never roll a one or zero. They usually came up with that discovery on their own.
They colored in their recording sheet after each roll and wrote the number sentence.
This mission was a ton of fun! We took the idea of Minute to Win It and incorporated it with the number 100. The agents had four challenges:
•Post-It Challenge: They had 100 seconds to stick as many Post-It notes as they could onto their partner. We bought small Post-It note pads which came in stacks of 100.
•Penny Challenge: Using one hand, they had to see how many pennies they could stack in 100 seconds.
•Gumball Challenge: We took two 2 liter bottles, rinsed them out, put 100 gumballs inside one of the bottles, and taped them together with duct tape. They had to see how fast they could transfer 100 gumballs from one bottle to the other.
•Evidence Challenge: We had 100 pom pom balls in a container. They had to see how quickly they could transfer 100 pieces of evidence (pom pom balls) from one plate to another using a gripping gadget (tweezers).
white board, and rearranged them to figure out the secret message. Our school has a small orchard on campus, so our secret message said that they would find Zero the Hero where apples and oranges grow. They were so excited! We went out to the orchard and found a white evidence box next to an orange tree. They could hardly contain themselves! What was in the box? Could it be Zero the Hero? Would he fit in the box? We opened it and found Spy Kits that Zero the Hero left for each agent. Since Zero the Hero doesn’t like to be seen, he snuck away but left us the kits as a thank you for rescuing him. You could put whatever you want to in the spy kits. Our spy kits contained a notepad, “explosives” (Pop Rocks with a label), disguise glasses, and a finger light. Parents donated most of the items in our spy kits. Our secret agents loved them! Once we came back into the classroom, each secret agent was given a special spy certificate for completing all of the missions.
This was definitely an unforgettable 100th day of school. The students were SO
engaged with the math practice and had a blast!
We would like to give a huge thank you to Katie Fewell from Snapshots and Smiles. She photographed the entire day and sent us the pictures to use. Isn’t she amazing?
|How cute is this shirt? She used glow in the dark puffy paint so it looked incredible under the black lights!