A Day in Kindergarten
September 20, 2021 | Bridget O'Dowd
During the first six weeks, students are introduced to various work spaces, routines, and materials that establish their foundation for learning throughout the year. Together we begin to label the classroom, create schedules with pictures, and continually reinforce procedures. For some children, when asked the question, “What did you do at school today?”they respond with a detailed list of each event of the day.Other children, however, may process the school day internally, responding with, “Nothing,” or “I don’t know.” This blog post will help you better understand our daily schedule and provide you will a few questions you might ask to gently prompt your child.
The day begins the moment the children enter the classroom. They flip their pictures, hang their backpacks on the hook, and begin to unpack the contents. Students are learning where to put lunch boxes, library books, and towels.
After Worship, we begin our morning meeting. Before we read the message together, students have a few moments to share thoughts and hopes with each other. The morning message gives students a clear understanding of happenings at the various work places in the classroom or anything special happening that day.
There are three work periods that begin directly after the morning meeting. Students work in various areas including, teacher’s group, blocks, math, games, books, drawing and writing and more. Eventually there will be seven separate work spaces for students to choose to work throughout the classroom. I encourage you to ask your child: What did you do in work period one? How about work period two? And three? You might even turn this into a guessing game where you guess where your child worked in all three work periods.
Last week, children spent time creating class books to teach the class about themselves. We have a collection of self-portraits, our families, our homes, our friends, and our favorite foods. We have enjoyed reading these together as a class and learning about our new friends.
Students gather for rhymes and chants, a brief meeting, and then eat snack together. They engage in conversations and enjoy getting to know each other.
Children then get ready to go outside. They are never cease to surprise us how adaptable they are. Children have changed many games to be “COVID-safe.”
Next, the kindergarten classes begin Math workshop. After an instructional lesson, students are released to begin work
with various materials. This week students are introduced to buttons, tiles, and attribute blocks.
After math, our classroom transforms into a dining room. Before students begin having conversations with classmates, they make sure they have unpacked their lunches, put napkins on their laps, and placed lunch boxes under their chairs.
After lunch, a story is read and then students have a quiet rest time.
The past two weeks, children have been enjoying a second outdoor time. Beginning next week, this time will be our afternoon workshop time. Children will be working in small groups on art, PE, science and social studies, and special projects.
Students perform different jobs in the classroom, such as board erasing or chair stacking. The last meeting of the day is our quietest meeting. Here, we take time to reflect on our busy day and to pray. We thank God for work and for play, and look forward to more time spent together.
Our day is full in Kindergarten. I encourage you to ask specific questions about your child’s day including “What did you learn in teacher’s group today?” or “Who did you sit with at lunch?” “What did you build in blocks?” These special moments are often shared during dinner or in quiet conversations before bed.
Ms. O’Dowd came to Mustard Seed in 2017, after moving to Hoboken in 2016. She found a school and a community all in one package at Mustard Seed! Having taught kindergarten in Illinois before moving to New Jersey, Ms. O’Dowd has a passion for five-year-olds. She’s delighted to be a part of the kindergarten team and loves to read and share in story with students. Her favorite moment of the day is during a good read aloud, when she looks out and sees the faces of children showing empathy and emotion in response to the story. Ms. O’Dowd’s hobbies include exploring new neighborhoods, watching BBC documentaries, traveling to visit family, and eating her way through New York City.