Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The First Day of School 2012

Wow, how time flies! I can't believe school has already started, but I'm excited about this year. My cute Kindergarteners are all adorable and so excited to be at school! 

This year, my school has 2 full day Kindergarten classes. I currently have 12 kids, we call them scholars, and the other class has 14. We, as teachers, decided we are going to split the curriculum. I'm teaching Math, Geography & Science. My co-teacher will be teaching History, Literature & our Literacy program- Riggs. We will have our own classes in the morning, then after lunch we'll switch classes and teach the same thing we did that morning. at 1:45 we switch back...I take my class to their specials, and get them back at 2:20 until they leave at 3:00. 

The first day of school was really hard for them. They were all VERY hungry, and by the end of the day- EXHAUSTED. A few scholars were even asking me if we take naps at our school! Thankfully, each day since then has progressively got better!

This is what we did on the first day of school this year:

We went over what they do each morning when they first come to school. Then we had a group circle time and I made an "All About Mrs. Johnson" book that I read to the kids. I got the idea HERE.

We went around the circle and each said our names in different ways: whisper it, roar it like a lion, sing it, say it normal, etc. We also played THIS question game to get to know each other:

We are using Saxon 1 this year for our Math Curriculum. We started with lesson 1 today which was going over our "Math Meeting" (calendar time). 
We talked about lining up and the rules for the hallway (Click on the picture to go to the link):

We then went on our Pete the Cat school scavenger hunt! The kids LOVED this and were so excited to see Pete. In the end he had to return to his school, but he did leave us a fun coloring page. (Which we put in our notebooks...I'll talk more about notebooks at the end of this post). I got this freebie from Inspired Kindergarten. She did such a great job with it! To get the Kindergarten or First Grade version click HERE. If you want her Pre-K version click HERE.

I took their 1st day of Kindergarten pictures. Here are just a few:

 I got the printable "First day of Kinder" HERE

They were also able to do Math Centers. This week we were just getting used to the materials: Playdough, legos, linking cubes & THIS "I love dice" page from Little Miss Kindergarten.

We had our lower grammar devotional with our headmaster in the library.

Following the devotional we had lunch, then the kindergarten classes switched and I did the same thing with the other class in the afternoon while my class had History & RIGGS (our literacy program) with the other teacher. 

My kids have specials from 1:50-2:20, then I have them back until carpool starts at 3:00. When they came back to the classroom we read "First Day Jitters." Then they got to try "Jitter Juice" and we graphed if they liked it or not. (I made our "Jitter Juice" with Sprite and Hawaiian Punch mixed together.)

I found THIS freebie page at Crazy for First Grade:

All in all I'd say it was a great first day! Hopefully they start getting used to have school full day, and they won't be as hungry or tired. How did your first day of school go?

Our school uses a notebook method. It's a 3-ring binder, divided into different areas for different subjects. It's a product of the individual's own hand, a record of what they've done at school throughout the year. There are skills developed and exercised by using this: listening, writing, organizing, managing, consistency & criticism.
In Kindergarten we put their best work in the different subject areas into their notebook (instead of sending them home). At the end of the year they get to take their notebook home to save and keep their best work from the year.
The notebook method incorporates 4 steps of learning: (the 4 R's) Research, Reason, Relate & Record. The older grades research different notes on the board, vocabulary, etc. They then internalize the material, relate it to themselves, and record it in writing which becomes a permanent part of them in their notebook.

This is a new approach for me. I'm used to just sending their work home each day. The notebook is a  way to help their parents save their work in a small space, and the students are very excited to take it home at the end of the year with all of their work inside.

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