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First Full Days of Kindergarten

September 16, 2021 | Bridget O'Dowd

The first few days of Kindergarten are filled with new friends, materials, songs, games, and teachers. Each introduction to a new person, area, or material is intentionally and carefully planned. These first days of school are very, very full. Here are a few of the things the students have been putting their energy into over the past few days. We arrive in the classroom and unpack so that we are settled. We wash our hands and use the restroom, then return to our classroom. We begin our day with worship. Ms. O’Dowd lights the candle and the lights are off. We listen to the worship story from a teacher projected on the wall and end together in prayer.

After worship, we have a Morning Meeting. This is a time for us to greet each other by name, share about ourselves and any news about ourselves, then we read our message/ plan for the day, and we close with an activity that brings us together and starts the day on a positive foot.

Next we begin work periods. There are 3 work periods. So far we have met 3 new places and have learned to read the planning board.

Students are meeting new blocks each day. They are developing etiquette for block use and care, and discussing the properties and use of each block. On Monday, the children discussed the three goals of block building: to create a structure that is safe, strong, and beautiful.

Students are drawing about themselves – their portraits, homes, and families. They are learning how to use pens and crayons in careful, intentional ways.

After work periods, we gather together for rhymes and chants to build community as well as engage in shared language! We head back to the bathroom for a quick break and hand washing session then onto snack!

During math workshop, the children are meeting new manipulatives. So far, they have met pattern blocks, geoblocks, and connecting cubes – a favorite for many!

After math, we head out of our class for some gross motor activity. Depending on the day, we spend time in a field at the park or at the playground.

After park we head back to the bathrooms to wash hands. We settle in for lunch. After lunch, we listen to a story and start quiet time. We’ve been working hard in kindergarten and the rest is welcomed by all! After quiet time, we are meeting new materials, learning new jobs, and playing new games. We always end out day together by reflecting and praying together.

These days are busy, and the kindergarten students are working very hard. We encourage you to take cues from your child and limit after school activities as needed. The children are still building stamina for the work of school, and a balance of rest at home can be extremely helpful.

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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