But wait, let me rewind to the day before when we were halfway across town at a presentation on Common Core. It wasn't scheduled to end until about 4pm and our Meet the Teacher night started at 4:30! Somehow our group ended up in the front row, all wearing our school shirts. Imagine the embarrassment when our principal signaled us to leave at 3:45 and we had to get up and walk out as the presenter made wisecracks. We raced out of the parking lot and back to school and were still beaten by the parents who were already lining up at the door at 4:00! I was frantically stuffing things in cupboards and totally threw my organization system out of whack, but the room looked nice! I saw 17 out of my 24 kiddos that night - which is something of a record for our school!
The next morning was complete chaos. We didn't have a schedule yet, or a procedure mapped out for getting breakfast so the kiddos were sent straight to our rooms and then we had to play the "wait and see" game as to when it would be our turn to go get our trays. I was trying to come up with something the kiddos could do that would be engaging but not involved, so that we could drop it and go when it was our turn to line up. Luckily I hadn't put all my books on my display cart yet so I dragged over a box of books and set the 1st three kiddos to arrive to unpacking the box. As more trickled in they automatically started helping. If they found a book they liked, they just picked a seat and sat down to read. By the time my last kiddo was dropped off I had a class full of readers! It was also a good way for me to see who was actually reading and who was still at the "looking at the pictures and making up words" stage!
Right after breakfast we started talking about our classroom rules. The kiddos were very good at coming up with the rules and with just minimal guidance from me we came up with these 4:
1. Keep your hands and feet to yourself.
2. Say nice words.
3. Use supplies the right way.
4. Be safe.
We were interrupted once by the principal who explained that the church that had donated the backpacks and supplies for all of our kiddos wanted a photo op. I quickly set up some of my little girls with new backpacks and was pleasantly surprised that the rest of the kiddos stayed in procedure at carpet!
Then we had to take our first restroom break. I have never had to do a restroom break before because in my old room we had a bathroom in the classroom. Let me tell you, taking 22 kids to the bathroom at once is a lot different! The fancy new bathroom also has a light sensor, so when the kiddos first approach the bathroom it remains dark until they round the corner where the sensor is - let me tell you, that is a bit scary for new firsties! We also have fancy new water fountains that are hands free too! Only they take a few moments to turn on and then abruptly turn off in mid drink, forcing the kiddos to continually reposition themselves in front of the sensor - and the hands off part was all for naught as each and every one put their hands on it at some point because that's what their used to. Alas there was no time to practice proper drink procedures as we had to get right to assembly!
Yep, a whole school assembly on the 1st day! Nothing like a 35 minute assembly in the middle of the morning to throw all your plans to teach procedures out the door!! The assembly was also about rules, which seemed a bit redundant to me, as all of the teachers were doing that in the classroom anyways. Again though, I was pleased with my kiddos who for the most part managed to pay attention and sit criss cross applesauce for the whole 35 minutes!
Lunch was again a "wait and see" event. Waiting to see when kindergarten would get called down to start lunch, then waiting to see how long it took them to get back to their classrooms with their trays so that we could go down. I am pleased to say that my class did not have a single dropped tray the whole day! Heck, we didn't even spill any milk! How's that for a wondrous first day?!
After lunch was recess - no one was hurt, no one used the equipment inappropriately. I swear I heard angels singing (it may have been the 100 degree heat though). The only fly in the ointment was that kindergarten was still out when we got there and then 2nd grade came out early, so there were a lot of kids in transition on that playground!
I honestly can't remember much after lunch. I know the director of Early Childhood ed popped her head into my room at one point and loved my classroom setup (pictures to come soon - promise!). I read "Where the Wild Things Are" of course, and we did a first day of first grade writing sample paper. I have some lowbies and some highbies as usual. I also had to give out planners and backpacks and take each one's picture with my frame:
Note the quick conversion from "1st Day of Kindergarten" to '1st Day of 1st Grade" lol.
Have you noticed that I did not have a break? One of our specials teachers watched my kiddos for 5 minutes while I ran to the bathroom at 2pm and that was it - 8:30am-4:00pm with my kiddos! Talk about trial by fire and getting-to-know them all at once! I also didn't get to do my 1st day school-wide scavenger hunt since I didn't have time to get it set up - I am planning it for Monday though!
Also, the bell does not work on our section of the hallway, so I actually had most of the parents waiting it in the hallway by the time I was ready to dismiss. After school we had a quick meeting to discuss breakfast and lunch plans and managed to hash out a doable plan in less than 10 minutes, go figure! I also got my schedule which gives me the first specials slot of the day. My planning time will be 9:25-10:05 each day, which will give me about 15-20 minutes after breakfast to do calendar time before specials, so it works out perfectly!
Hmm I have a dearth of pictures for this post, so I'm going to go ahead and jump into a linky party! Jeannie over at Kindergarten Lifestyle is having a "You know it's Back-to-School-Time when..." linky! Here are mine:
Make sure you head over to the linky to join in the fun!