We started our day with a Picture Talk. We looked at the pictures first to see what we noticed, then we talked about how the pictures were all the same. Ask me to tell you what is the same in ALL the pictures. We are learning about exactly the same in math. We looked at pictures of socks today and used our quiet signal with our thumb to show whether the socks were exactly the same or different. We also talked about what made them different.
We read a beautiful book called Kindergarten, Where Kindness Matters Every Day, by Vera Ahiyya. This book was about a little boy named Leo who was worried about school because he liked quiet and didn't like to talk. He was afraid his teacher was going to ask him to talk in front of the class. The teacher asked the kids to talk about kindness. She called on Leo, even though he closed his eyes to try and be invisible. Leo's friends answered by telling all the things Leo had done during the day that showed kindness. Ask me to tell you about two things Leo did.
We also talked about our classroom rules. Our rules are simple, especially when we remember to be empathetic. We will repeat our rules each day by saying this little pledge:
I am at Bells Mill to learn and to do my best, so I will...
and make good choices.
Have a nice evening!
We worked hard to learn classroom routines today. We took time in the morning to go over how to unpack, put their folder in the basket, use the restroom and wash hands, and get a book to read. They learned how to listen for the music that signals them to put their books away and sit on the edge of the carpet. We start each day by greeting our classmates. We pass a hello around the carpet, so I start and say "Howdy Suzie Q" or whoever is sitting near me, and they pass on the hello. Today we used the cowboy hello, but most often it will be a hello in another language. They are still learning names of course, so they also had to learn how to ask someone their name. We had some really great cowboy hellos!
We also talked about what strong listeners do. I'm including the slide that shows what we talked about when listening. We also read this very silly book. Ask me to tell you about We Don't Eat Our Classmates, by Ryan Higgins.
We will learn many new words throughout the year, but we learned the word empathy today, which I told them will be the most important thing they learn and practice all year. Ask your child to tell you the most important word they talked about today. Don't worry if they don't remember it because it may be a totally new word for them and we will be talking about a lot this year!
We took a couple Brain Breaks in the morning. Most all of the children are starting to participate, but we have a few who are reluctant so I thought I'd pass them along in case you might want to do them at home. We will have different Brain Breaks all year.
The Disney Family Get Moving videos are a little longer, but so well done. EVERYONE participated! Miz Shanna talked to them about being unique and showing your super powers. We went back to the edge of the carpet, stated our name and what our super power is. Ask me to tell you what I shared as my super power. (You might be surprised!)
Another routine we learned today was Turn and Talk, which we use as part of our morning Picture Talk. I share a picture or series of pictures and the children first study the picture and think silently about what they notice, or some other prompt I pose to them. Then they turn to a neighbor and quietly talk about what they notice. We then share out together. Today we studied this painting and used the clue to determine that this was a painting of children coming home from school probably on an island. The man with bananas on his head was a bit distracting but a good clue! Ask me to tell you about what I noticed.
We got to play today! I had table groups play with some different things, such as play doh, drawing in art station, housekeeping and building with blocks, legos and tinker toys. I assigned what they were doing by table groups instead of the children self-selecting, but we were learning mostly about cleaning up today. I was so impressed that no one complained about what their table was assigned, and no one tried to sneak into a different station! Ask me to tell you what I did during play time.
The kids did a great job at lunch. We are learning to stay in our seat until it's time for us to throw away our trash. We are also working on sitting on the benches on their bottoms with feet under the table to be sure they are eating over the table. I am eating with them each day so we can have time to chat. I remember doing that in elementary school with my teachers. It is a very fond memory for me to remember those times I got to sit near the teacher and talk to her so it's something I wanted to do with my classes too. It doesn't always work out because we have meetings during our breaks, but this year we are having our meetings during our special time, so this works out for me this year!
We will be taking things a little faster tomorrow to get through more so we are working to get these kindergarteners on "our time." They are quite leisurely right now in responding to directions and often don't move until I have said the same thing several times. Sometimes it feels a little like Boot Camp trying to get all these little friends moving and with the program, and today there were several moments when I felt like I was herding cats, but we will get there soon! So many routines to learn, so many stories they want to tell during lessons, so many friends needing to go to the bathroom all at the same time, but also so many new friends that are kind, happy and ready to learn. I'm once again one lucky teacher who has a great class of kids. That's thanks you! Thank-you for sending such sweet little people to me and trusting me with them. I'm really grateful!
Have a nice evening,
We had such a busy day! Today, and most of this week, is all about learning routines.
We had an assembly almost first thing in the morning. The children listened to Mrs. Kemp talk about lunch and recess expectations. The big thing for lunch is that they need to sit in their seats and not get up until it's time to dump their trash. If they need help with anything, they need to raise their hand, not just get up and come to me or another adult. Another thing I will help them with is making sure they take their water bottles to lunch. We had such a rushed morning that we didn't talk about water bottles, but this is what you need to know. I will have them bring one water bottle to their table in the classroom to drink as needed. It would be a huge help if somehow you could pack a second water bottle in their lunchbox, if there is space, so they just have to put that in the lunch basket in the morning.
The children went to Art after the assembly. Mrs. Park had big compliments for how well they listened.
We will be working a lot with listening and not interrupting. I had to make a pretend phone call to Georgetown to find out if kids in preschool have to raise their hands, and of course pretend Mrs. Tecler said of course! They have so much to say but these first few days they have so much listening to do too! Their excitement and need to tell me things is hard for them to control. I tried to assure them that we will have lots of time for them to talk in our classroom. I'll also eat lunch with them this week, and possibly all year, with tables rotating to be the teacher table. This way we can get to know each other better and have that time to chat.
We talked a little bit about how to take care of the books in our classroom library and where they may read. We will talk about this more, especially in how to put the books back in the proper baskets.
The kids drew really great self-portraits today. They are learning that they need to work the whole time and stay in the their seats instead of getting up to talk to me or tell me they are done.
All of these are things kindergarten students go through every year!
We read You're Finally Here! by Melanie Watt today. This story is about an impatient bunny who has all kinds of different feelings about his friend's arrival. Ask me to tell you about what happened in the story.
We also enjoyed a couple of Brain Breaks. They loved the Milkshake break best. It was easy for them to follow along. It's posted below if you want to check it out!
Tomorrow I'm hoping will be a more typical day. We will learn about unpacking and morning routines. We will get to play in the classroom. Today was just a little too busy and we weren't getting through things very quick.
I'm tired, but I'm so excited for tomorrow.
Have a nice evening!