Happy First Day of School to most of my friends! Happy Second Week of School to my other friends! I started my new school year with 13 buckaroos. Parents filled the hallways at our elementary school and new shoes worn by eager students squeaked on the tile floor due to an early morning downpour.
Despite the rainy morning, my kindergarten students were ready to listen and learn. We quickly ate breakfast. After opening 50 breakfast items, we cleaned up in time for our Good Morning Song, sung by none other than me.
What I am failing to mention is that I have sick since last Friday with a very sore throat and head cold. I slept 16 hours yesterday in preparation for today! I am so glad that I did!
As we gathered on our colorful rug, we discussed feelings. Each child had the opportunity to select from "excited," "okay," and "nervous." As you can tell by our data, most of the classroom was feeling pretty good about our day. (At the end of the day, we revisited this graph.)
We followed our graphing activity by a tour of the school and got to meet our principals. Then, I read "The Kissing Hand," to the kindergarteners. (I have never read this story to my class before! Shh! Don't tell anyone!)
The kids liked the story and they learned what a raccoon is and the palm of their hand. One student knew this animal was raccoon! We have no schema of raccoons here. I was about 22 before I saw my first one!
The students got to create a hand puppet of Chester, the raccoon. They loved this activity. Out of all of the things we did today, this was their favorite. (I have never made a puppet with my class before! Shh! Don't tell anyone!...it seems like this is a year of "firsts" for me as a teacher--perhaps my lucky 7!)
We shared a meal in the cafeteria together. One student said, "This food is great!" That is encouraging news! After lunch we finished our puppets and cleaned up our areas in time for Physical Education. We had an inclement weather day due to the rain so the students were inside for P.E., which did not seem to bother them since they were reviewing rules, etc.
We came back to the classroom and created a circle map. One student knew exactly what we were creating. He said, "You are going to write words in the circle!" Yeah, buddy, that's exactly what we are going to do! Hooray for your Pre-K teacher!
As you can see by the predictions we collected today, I have a lot of work to do with my little scientists! I can't wait! (I integrated a Texas English Language Proficiency Standards-ELPS- into this lesson with 1.A Use prior knowledge and experiences to understand meanings in English.)
We then began our "Graph of the Week" today with the question, "How do you get to school?" We practiced our friends' names by asking them, "Name, how do you get to school?" The students responded with the sentence stem, "I get to school by..." The kids understood quickly how to complete their thoughts using the sentence stem. This is very encouraging! (This is just one way that I emphasize the Texas ELPS- 2E- Use visual, contextual, and linguistic support to enhance and confirm understanding of increasingly complex and elaborate spoken language.) Today, we just built our graph by collecting data from each student.
After our math session, we went back to our graph we started this morning about how we felt on the first day of school. Students were able to vote on how they are feeling now that they have been in school for one day. As you can see, the data shows that most of the students are very excited about their new year. This is also a good formative assessment to let me see which students may need additional support in their transition to kindergarten. I was also able to formatively assess their counting skills as we counted our data.
I am going to get some sleep now and recover from a full day of kindergarten!
P.S. The best news of the day--not one kindergartener cried! WOO HOO! (This is another first)