September 11, 2022 | 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 begin our day greeting each other and having time to socialize with classmates before leaving the classroom for worship. We join 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade, as well as many parents in the community room to sing, listen to stories, and to pray.
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!
After math, we head out of our class for some gross motor activity. Children have learned the boundaries at the park, what to do if you need help at the park, and some social strategies to solve problems that arise when playing. As children become comfortable and knowledgable with park rules, we will gradually open more options, such as swings, nature area, and tag/running games in a field.
After park we head back to the bathrooms to wash hands. We pray and 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.
This week we are meeting new teachers slowly and meeting new spaces. We are gradually beginning our specials.
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.
Children of this age may only respond that their day was “good” and not have as much to say at the end of the day. Some helpful questions you can ask during these first two weeks to get more specific answers are:
What block did you meet today?
What did you draw in teacher’s group?
What math material did you work with today?
Who did you sit with at lunch today?
Did you play a game after quiet time?
Did you meet any new teachers today?