Friday, August 24, 2012

Kindergarten Chronicles: "First Week in review"

I probably shouldn't title this post "Kindergarten Chronicles" considering it's about the experience of both girls so it isn't exclusively about kindergarten but also about pre-k..
Anyways.. I'm glad to report that we survived the first week of school and we are all embracing all the changes, school rules, challenges and such...
The girls seem really happy with the new school and things seem to be on track... Incorporating religion in their daily learning has proven to be a good thing..in just a couple of days they started talking about Jesus and such.. which is always a good thing...

This is one of Gaby's first coloring sheets.. how cute is this!?


Some highlights of the new school include the following:

1. Behavior Charts: This is something the girls are definitely NOT used to.. All the teachers in this new school are completely fixated on behavior and consequences...I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing.. I mean, I'm all for reinforcing the good and keeping children accountable, but I also don't believe behavior should be the sole focus of the school day...We'll see how this plays out...
This is the "Buzzing Behavior" chart from Gaby's classroom.. the kids collect a bee every time they behave well and then they get to exchange them for a toy from the "treasure box", which is supposed to be a good motivator...



2. Uniforms: the school has a VERY strict uniform policy, which drives me a little nuts.. they really care about the length of dresses and skirts and all the little details.. I like this.. all kids look so cute in their little plaid uniforms...

3. "Car line": this is probably the biggest nightmare of all..There's something about standing in a car line for 30 min, twice a day (drop off and pick up) that is so unappealing..but it has to be done.. Kids HAVE to be dropped off and picked up via care line, which has proven to be more difficult than I thought.. Let's just say, I'm relearning the concept of "patience".. Let's hope it gets better as time progresses...

This is a picture of Olivia's first piece of art work.. it features a cute drawing and a sweet poem about the first day of Kindergarten.. so adorable...


 ..and this is Gaby's certificate of good behavior, which she brought home today after earning her first "10 buzzing bees".. I'm really happy she's doing well in her new classroom.. considering a few tears were shed on the first day (by her.. and me as well)


4. Olivia's behavior chart is a story of its own... The teachers have 6 different levels of behavior, which have been the topic of conversation for the week...
The breakdown goes as follows:
Purple: Outstanding
Blue: Great Job
Green: Ready to Learn
Yellow: Warning
Orange: Think About It
Red: Make Better Choices
The first two days Olivia came home with "green" circles, but the next two days they were "yellow".. oh my! Needless to say we had a LONG conversation about her behavior and why she should always strive to be on green or above.. She must have understood what we meant because today she came home with a "blue" circle, which made me very proud... Let's hope she keeps it up!


Here are the girls after a successful first week.. I'm feeling very accomplished after passing the first hump..
You all know how anxious I was about school starting so this is a big deal for me..
I know we have a long road ahead and many school years in our future, but somehow, having had such a great first week makes me feel really good about what's in store for us and the girls...


Happy blogging!

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