I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

25 August 2012

The First Week of Kindergarten

I have been doing this for a long time now, and the first week's general outlines are pretty standard.  The week looks something like this.

MONDAY: Teachers are on their A game, which is good because the children are all over the place.  Some are so excited that they simply must touch everything RIGHT NOW.  Others need to be physically blocked from fleeing out the door in tears.  Transitions - to and from recess, etc. - are challenging.  The wise teacher offers a healthy snack and gets the kids ready for dismissal twenty minutes before the bell rings.  This cuts off crankiness at the pass while also guarding against not seeing who picks up a child in the dismissal crunch.

TUESDAY:  Far easier than Monday, most children are excited to do this again.  Anything that happened on Monday is assumed to be routine, which makes Tuesday a delightful adventure for cheerful children.  Any criers give over in five minutes.

WEDNESDAY: Do not plan to build on Tuesday's gains!  Wednesday is the day when the effects of two days of hard work and structure are evident in the children's emotional states.  Children who were slow to warm up on Monday and Tuesday may cry; transitions are shakier and teachers are likely to be asked about having a rest time, when school is over, and if there is school tomorrow.  Recess will be chaotic.  The wise teacher takes a vibe check of the class in the morning and reschedules accordingly; this is a good day for quiet play or getting out the really exciting imaginative toys and not so good for teaching complicated structures or completing worksheets.  Follow the emotional lead of your students.  There is no reason to demand work right now.  We are building the ability of children to feel successful and happy at school.  There is enough time for drill later.  Wednesday readalouds give you a good sense of how much the class enjoys books and their stamina, though.

THURSDAY: Far easier than Wednesday.  At least one parent will tell you their child went to bed before seven o'clock yesterday.  The refreshed children are ready to learn some new procedures and try some different work.  Most if not all of the children will be sad to hear the day is over.

FRIDAY: Teachers are tired.  By late morning, at least two children who have had no problems all week will have emotional storms.  If a child is going to throw up in class, it will happen on Friday.  This is a good day for a long afternoon of art and crafts and good readalouds, so any academic work should be finished by noon.  If it is at all warm, judicious use of the water spray bottle will soothe tears and restore order.

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