We have completed our first week of school! I have sixteen students- eleven boys and five girls (just the opposite of last year). We spent a lot of time discussing “rules, routines, and responsibility”. We spent a lot of time getting acquainted and moving beyond “that kid in the blue shirt” to using actual names. We spent a lot of time singing, talking, and reading. And of course…testing. I now know which of my students already recognize the letters of the alphabet and are ready to move on to sounds, and which ones will need some extra help along the way. I know who recognizes colors and who can count to 10. And by constant observation I know who can follow directions.
The children who were not here for pre-k last year are still getting comfortable with the building and the many adult faces. The ones who were in the pre-k class have told their former teachers at least once that they miss them, but they are “in Kindergarten now”. One looked over at the pre-k table during breakfast and asked, “Why is that kid crying?” lol How quickly they forget!
I’m sure my parents are already overwhelmed with paperwork. They have notes about homework, procedures, schedules, snacks, meals, handwriting, testing, etc. I’ll send home our first newsletter tomorrow. Kindergarten is not all about playdough and naps! In fact, we don’t take naps!
The weather has been hot, but at least comfortable enough in the mornings for us to enjoy our early recess. We will have to forego the afternoon one until the temperature is below 100. Just not safe to be out there running around sweating in the heat.
Naturally we have had a few behavior issues. You can’t put sixteen children into a room and expect everything to go smoothly. There are personality conflicts to sort out. There are children with different experiences and expectations. There are children from different environments. It takes several weeks for us to start feeling and acting like a community. Some children quickly realize that their actions affect their seatmate and the rest of the group. Others take a little longer. Some never think about anything except their own needs and desires.
I have adjusted my plans and expectations for this group. I have explored my options and resources. I have reviewed what has worked in the past and some new things I want to try. I’m ready for the challenges.
This week we begin the journey toward reading!