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Finally the day has come!
Welcome to Week 1 of my “In The Classroom” series of posts. Last week I wrote about the back to school night for the kindergartners. I titled it Week 0 since this was just a meet and greet evening with the kids instead of real classroom work. This week I have about two hours and fifteen minutes in the AM kindergarten classroom to talk about.
On a side note: I love how when I’m working at the school I don’t feel that same nervousness that I felt at my old jobs. I can walk up to any teacher and talk to them without feeling completely out of place.
Once inside the classroom, I was surprised to see that almost every spot on the shape carpet (similar to the Seating Shapes Carpet – 6′ x 12′ Semi-Circle pictured) were filled.
Knowing that Mrs. C has a chart on the wall, I check to find that there were indeed 30 kids. 15 girls and 15 boys. Its a nice even mix but Ms. C started out with 20 kids on her list this summer!
Luckily when I came in there was a teacher’s aid Mrs. R, another mom, and me as well as Ms. C. Having me there made it a good “teacher to student” ratio.
What activities I worked Today
The teacher’s aid Mrs. R. and Ms. C. worked on testing the kids knowledge of their letters and their color names. I worked on prep work. Putting together reading/writing workbooks for the kids is kind of boring but it’s important in it’s own way.
Hole punching pages and putting brads on them seems like busy work and it was, but really I’m glad to do it. By doing the boring prep work, Ms. C and Mrs R. have time to do the curriculum coverage that needs to get done. This time of year has a lot of prep work that needs to be done since we are setting up things in the classroom for the rest of the year.
Part of the time I was putting the books together was reading time. Ms. C. sat the kids on the shape carpet and pulled out the book Welcome to Kindergarten. It’s a sweet story about preschool aged kids visiting a kindergarten class and what you find at school.
Part of the curriculum that is covered is the parts of a book:
The kids seemed to know most of them already. They repeated what they were back to Ms. C as she showed them each part.
She read through the story then went back through and discussed each thing the main character came across and compared it to her own classroom. Some were different and some were the same. It was a great way to get kids these concepts without really forcing them to think about it too much.
Today I got assigned to the coloring station for the day. Because this is only day four, the stations seemed to be easy ones today compared to the ones I worked on last year. We had puzzles, coloring, tea party, and floor time, all of which seemed more “educational fun” rather than “educational”. I think until the initial testing period is over it’s hard to really do much academic group work, but I’m sure by next week it’ll be different.
The classroom is Peanuts themed so the kids worked on the following coloring worksheet:
Any personality/behavior events of the day
Having 30 kids in the class instead of the 25-26 we had last year is a BIG difference. There don’t seem to be many trouble maker type kids. The same personalities are there when you look at the kids, but without the familiar faces to go with them at this point its a bit overwhelming. There is one little girl who is VERY loud, one little boy who seemed VERY lost in between centers but overall there was the average mix of talkers and non talkers. They seem for lack of a better word: normal kindergartners.
Last year we had a few “antsy” kids, but this year most of them look like they are able to sit through a center or a session on the carpet. It’s something that with a class size that big helps keep the whole class on task.
The fourth group of kids I only got to work with for a few minutes because I had to leave earlier than class got out but they were very well behaved considering that it was a big group. They all wanted to know if I was coming back after I picked up Boogie at school and I had to tell them no but that I’d be back the next week, which they seemed to like the idea of.
Successes and failures of the day
Today was all about successes.
I finished putting together the workbooks which was an awesome feeling. As a mom it seems like nothing is ever “done”, so I like projects like that where I can start and finish them.
Mrs. R. said that the kids were all high achievers when it came to knowing their letters. From what I overheard from the next table, most of the kids sounded like they knew all their colors. The only discipline issues I heard were that there were a few kids that needed a bit of reminding about the volume of their voices.
I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next week!