Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten

Well, we all survived our First REAL Day of Kindergarten!! Dean LOVED it!! It was much harder for Mom and Dad. Because Pomaika'i Elementary school is so close to our house, we decided to walk to school today. But first, we took several First Day of Kindergarten photos in the front yard. Dean was fairly cooperative for these, although he did ask "Do we have to do this EVERY year now?". Yes, of course. My child learns fast around here!

After pictures in the yard, we headed to school. Dean was SUPER excited, but he didn't carry his backpack the whole way. I really don't blame him - it's kind of big and it was pretty heavy for such a little guy, with a towel, a change of clothes, his close-toed shoes, a snack and a full water bottle all inside! We made him carry it a little ways, then Joel carried it until we got to the school and then Dean had to carry it the rest of the way to class.

Once we got to the school, we found the little Honu (turtle) painted on the sidewalk, which is where Mrs. Smith's (Dean's teacher) class had been instructed to line up in the mornings. All of the children were waiting along with a lot of anxious-looking parents! Dean got to meet Mrs. Smith, although he didn't have much to say to her before school while Joel and I were still there. Right at 7:45, Mrs. Smith told us we needed to say good-bye and for the children to follow her and they all lined up and followed her into the building to go to Kindergarten! This was the first time Dean seemed a little anxious. He gave me a hug and even gave Joel a kiss and he looked really scared - there were A LOT of people there and it probably seemed really chaotic to him (it definitely did to me!). But even though I could tell he was scared, he didn't complain at all, he lined right up and followed his teacher right into the building. It was so hard to watch him go!! I think I did a pretty good job of holding myself together, but I was emotional.

Today was just a half day and I took off work for the day, knowing I would probably be a mess most of the day and I wanted to be there to take Dean to school and pick him up. So I walked back to school at noon to pick him up. He came out of the building with his class with a HUGE smile on his face, ran up to me and gave me a big hug and told me how much fun he had! The first thing he told me was that they have a class pet and it's a turtle, but he didn't know what it's name is. We said good-bye to Mrs. Smith and headed home. He chattered cheerfully the whole way home. He told me he met lots of new friends, but he couldn't remember all of their names. He said he drew and colored his name for his cubby and something about his cubby being a chair (I'm not really sure what that means, but maybe the chairs have baskets on the backs of them that hold their things?) He also talked a lot about lunchtime, which was in the cafeteria. He said they ate Spaghetti and meatballs, bread, "leaves" (aka salad), pineapple, and chocolate milk. I asked him if he ate everything and he said "not really. I drank all of my chocolate milk and ate all of my pineapple and maybe about 20 bites of spaghetti". I'm not sure I believe the 20 bites bit, but we'll see. He definitely wasn't starving when he got home, so he must have eaten something! When I asked him later what his favorite part of kindergarten was he said it was the chocolate milk! Then he said "No, it's 2 things. Number 1 is the chocolate milk and number 2 is my new friends". He's so cute! I'm just so glad that he's excited about school and learning and that he had so much fun.

I also wanted to let our families know that his teacher, Mrs. Smith, has a Class Blog - which of course I absolutely LOVE. She will be updating it throughout the year with photos, classroom updates and other cool stuff that's going on with Dean's class. It might be fun to check out periodically throughout the year (I'll try to let you know when she posts something really cool). There's not much there yet other than a welcome picture, but I'm very excited about this!! HERE is the link. We're very excited about Mrs. Smith - she is young and excited about teaching and seems to have a lot of energy. We spoke to her briefly after Parent Orientation and she remembered Dean from assessments last week (she is the teacher who administered his assessment). We talked a bit about where Dean is academically and I feel really good for now - mostly just that she is aware of the situation and is going to try to work with him a bit, maybe giving him a little bit of extra work that's a little more advanced so that he doesn't get bored. I'm not worried about things right now. I think that at this age, most of the learning is so fun that he really won't be too bored yet. But the main thing is that Mrs. Smith seems really cool and open and we like her!!

Overall I think we're headed into a really fun and exciting time for Dean and I'm so happy that he's happy about this!!

And for documentation purposes, here is the Pomaika'i Kindergarten Daily Schedule:
7:45-8:00 - Morning Routine, Attendance
8:00-9:30 - Language Arts - We follow the Harcourt "Story Town" Series, though this curriculum may be revived when necessary
9:30-9:45 - Recess - Juice and snack (from home) can be consumed in the cafeteria during the first 10 minutes of recess
9:50-10:00 - Restroom
10:00-10:45 - Math - We follow the Pearson / Scott Foresman Program called "Investigations"
10:45-11:15 - Lunch
11:15-11:30 - Recess
11:30-12:15 - Rest Time / Cool Down
12:15-1:00 - Social Studies / Science / P.E. - We follow the SPARK Program for PE
1:00-1:40 - Centers - This time allows for the children to practice in making choices, socializing, compromising, and in other words, practicing skills that they will need to become successful, happy adults (somewhere way down the road)
1:40-1:50 - Clean Up
1:50-2:00 - Closing Activities
2:00 - Dismissal
*Reminder - Visual Art, Music, Drama and Dance are incorporated into all curricular areas as Pomaika'i is an Arts-Integrated School.

1 comment:

MrsGinaSmith said...

WOW! I loooooooove this blog! It's so fun to read. You take amazing pictures and the layout is darling!!!! Today was a GREAT day! Dean did awesome! I did notice he was loving the chocolate milk at lunch and built what looked like to be a city with the Legos center after recess. I have a feeling we'll get that picture of he and I together real soon! :)