Friday, August 17, 2012

back to school

I love the first week of school. SERIOUSLY LOVE IT. There is something simply magical about the first day of kindergarten. The kids are wide-eyed and embarking on a wonderful journey. I feel so blessed to be with my students on their first day of school. Ever. It's powerful.
More than anything, I love watching their eyes light up with every new discovery -- Wow! She is going to read to us with funny voices! -- Wow! I get to eat lunch in this room? With the big kids? -- Everything is new and exciting the first week of kindergarten.
Yes, the initial excitement wears off... but their eagerness to learn stays. Their wide-eyed enthusiasm stays. Their natural ability to soak up everything around them stays. That is why I love kindergarten.
A few highlights from my first *very successful* week with my new bunch:
  • -- There's one every year... the one who *can't* concentrate on anything the first day of school because he didn't bring a lunch box. My little guy this year could not be consoled until he was given a lunch in the cafeteria. He was insistent -- he pulled on my shirt every 10 minutes, looked up at me with glossy eyes and said, "Mrs. Anderson, I didn't bring my lunch." Poor guy was so worried. Breaks my heart *and* makes me smile every year.
  • -- On the first day, I was teaching our "snack routine" to the kids. I'm very particular about snack -- we keep our hands in our laps, we say "please" and "thank you," and we wait until everyone is served. So much to teach! As I set two graham crackers down in front of one little girl, she looked up at me innocently and said, "Is this lunch? Because this is NOT what I brought!"
  • -- Today, I started assessing my kinders one at a time on their letter identification. It's not uncommon for a few students to know ALL of the uppercase and lowercase letters the first week... and it's not uncommon for a few students to know NONE of them. One little girl -- as eager and naive as they come -- didn't know any of the letters' "names," but she sure knew where to find them! Every time I pointed to a letter, her eyes LIT UP and she *ran* to show me where she has seen it in the classroom. I'd say: "What is this letter?" And she'd say: "Oooh! That's in my name!" and run to her name tag and point to it. When she called O a circle and a lowercase l a line, I chuckled and made a mental note to remember this moment. In just a few months, this little girl will be reading -- amazing.
A great start to a great year. I can't wait for more memories.

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