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A Day in Kindergarten

June 15, 2020 | 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.

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.

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.

Park time! Students practice picking partners and walking strong to the park. “Who did you pick for a partner” is often a question students are excited to answer.

After park, our classroom transforms into a dining room. Students are given a placemat and a napkin with a napkin ring. 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.

In the afternoon, students go to Music, Library, P.E. or Art each day of the week. They travel to various classrooms and learn specific procedures and routines in these classes.

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.

Bridget O'Dowd

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.

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