ELYRIA — The oddest thing happened Friday at Prospect Elementary School.
Leslie Urteaga’s first-grade class appeared to have aged overnight from adorable 6- and 7-year-olds to pint-sized centenarians complete with walking canes, gray hair and several pairs of suspenders.
Urteaga, who towered over her students, appeared to be the youngest one in the room.
This was not an optical illusion. Instead, it was a celebration of the 100th day of school.
To mark the day, Urteaga challenged her students to dress up as if they were actually 100 years old. The youngsters taking on what it meant to be well into their golden years was a sight to see.
“I couldn’t believe the way they looked when they walked through the door,” Urteaga said. “Everyone in the building has stopped by our classroom and it just really started our day off well.”
The costumes ranged from funny — wire-rimmed glasses perched low on noses — to hilarious gray mustaches taped to small upper lips.
Paul Leftrict, 6, fully committed to his costume. His parents shaved half of the young boy’s head and sprayed painted the rest gray for an authentic salt-and-pepper look.
“It was my mom and dad’s idea,” Paul said. “I was so scared because I thought I was going to be bald last night when my dad put some shaving cream on my head.”
Talon Lang, also 6, said he learned a lot in the first 100 days of school. Math is his favorite subject, and if he had to guess, he would say it’s easier to do math now than it would have been in 1913.
“We use Smart Boards and calculators,” he said.
One hundred years ago, kids probably didn’t have a lot of cool stuff students like Jordan Tillman said she likes. The 7-year-old girl borrowed her grandmother’s cane and scarf for class Friday and sported a gray spray-painted bun on the top of her head.
Jordan believed a lot of reading was probably the most fun.
While the day seemed like a lot of fun to anyone who walked into the classroom, Urteaga said the day was also full of lessons. Every activity, whether it was using M&Ms to make a graph or crafting 100th-day glasses and crows, incorporated lots of math and reading.
“There is a lot of counting by 10s and 5s to equal 100 on the 100th day of school. That is a big first-grade skill,” she said.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.