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First Full Days of Kindergarten

September 16, 2020 | 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.

The children watch as the story of “The Prodigal Son” is told by stick figures.

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.

Mr. Cuervo leads the children in the rhyme “Jack and Jill.” Here, Jack has just fallen down the hill.

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.

The students check the planning board to know where they are going in each work period.

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.

Michelle tests if the structure is strong by giving it “the wiggle test.”

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

The children in teacher’s group are working to draw a picture of their family for our class book.

After work periods, we head back to the bathroom for a quick break and hand washing session then onto snack! Despite the physical barriers, this classroom is becoming a close community. Laughter and conversation can be heard at every table.

Daniel and Weaver talk to each other during snack.


Lex and Ricky can see each other through their “window” at snack.


After snack, we head out of our class for some gross motor activity. Depending on the day, we spend time in the field across the street, in our play yard next to the school, or in the gym.



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

Franco builds a skyscraper with geoblocks.

Avery notices she can make a large trapezoid using 2 trapezoids and a triangle.

Zac works to build with connecting cubes.








Lex found that he could make a hexagon from 2 trapezoids.

Patrick builds with connecting cubes.


Weaver gives a thumbs up to his design with pattern blocks.

Hudson gets low to check his entrance to the city built with geoblocks.


Marie builds a jewel using pattern blocks.


Mirabella makes a drawbridge for her castle.


Sammy tests out the UFO he built.


After math 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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