Thursday, August 30, 2012

Love at First Day Sight...

They are wonderful, delightful, adorable and ooohhh so little. How soon we forget having just parted ways with 2nd Graders a few short months ago. It was love at first sight. But, it was Day One. We know. It was a whirlwind of day and we're beat, but it was a fun first day!

Our school bell rang at 8:25am. We started the day off with a chuckle when our Firstie Friend next door delivered some "mid-morning" chocolate. We giggled because it was only 8:15am, but apparently felt like mid morning already! We cracked them open, enjoyed the sugar rush along with our caffeine and geared up!
 We were greeted outside our door by 21 little faces and a million many parents eager to boot their kids out send their kids off. We get this...we're Moms. Sometimes summer coming to an end is not entirely a bad thing for all parties involved. We say this with the utmost need for routine love and affection. ;-)

We welcomed everyone to the new year, attempted to corral the kiddos into somewhat of a line outside of our door, and invited their families to come inside and help them find their *new* desks. They were so excited! A desk! With my own name! And things! YAY!! It's a first grade thing and they were eating it up! Adorable and easy to please. Teachers likey. :) 

 A few first day goodies that were handed to us by our sweet, sweet friends. The apple is hand sewn and such a sweet addition to our desk. The pencil is made out of Rolos and a Hugs candy from our Principal. More mid-morning chocolate. We clearly blew bathing suit season in hour one!
We encouraged the paparazzi parents take as many pictures as they liked and gave them a few minutes to share the moment at their child's desk. We know it might be unconventional, and for years we did what we were taught ~ Greet them at the door, make them wave goodbye to their parents, let only the kids in, and SHUT THE DOOR! But, after having kids of our own and sharing the experience of entering their classrooms on the first day of school, we've turned over a new leaf. It takes a few of those very first minutes, but the memories last a lifetime.

Once the flashes stopped and our eyeballs recovered, we invited the kids to the rug and the parents to sit in their chairs. It was cute, but looked kinda uncomfortable. Many stood. We understood. 
Like oodles of other teachers in Littleland, we read the story The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn to part ways with our families on the first day. We have been told by some Mommy friends recently that teachers reading this story to parents of little ones on the first day of school is cruel. Makes them weep. In public. With make-up. We had plenty of tissues and a mirror on hand in case of emergency. NOT to be mean or anything, we just love the story and it makes a great connection for the kids which keeps them from weeping. And, it's really all about the kids. Right?

We added a little special touch to our departure this year. After the weeping story finished, we asked the parents and kids to head back to their tables and create a kissing hand of their own. Thank you Cameo for cutting these hands and hearts for us! Love at First Sight...seriously this machine is uh-mazing. 

The stickers were cut with red adhesive vinyl and the hands with grey construction paper. We had them write their names on them, give them to their parents and say their goodbyes. It was sticky sweet and they ate it up! A few didn't have parents who stayed so we helped them out and had them stick their kissing hands in their mailboxes to deliver to Mom or Dad later.

 Okay, it was not all pixie dust and rainbows Peeps. It never is. Things come up, and we've learned Cardinal Teacher Rule #1 very well over the years - Be Flexible. We had a kicker, screamer, grabber, runner.  Yes, all of them rolled into one sweet, precious package. He was glued to Dad like there was no tomorrow. Poor little guy! We gave him time. We tried to connect. He was not having it. We did not give up. We pried him from Dad and dug deep into our bag of tricks. Hmm...where did they go? Yep, yep here they are! L-E-G-O-S. Gets 'em every time!!!
 Nope. 
Not having it. 
After a lot of space, a little time, and a quick heart to heart with the Principal he came around and what.a.love.

Next up ~ School Tour. We do this every year, but this year we thought we'd give it a twist and turn our tour into a Treasure Hunt. 
We use these little fishy friends to encourage quiet, hard workers. They "swim" around the classroom, bouncing from desk to desk during a particular work time as we catch different kids making smart choices. At the end of the time, wherever these guys end up last, those children get to pick a sticker from our sticker tub.

We told the kids that all the people seemed to have arrived in our class today, but that we were missing some friends who swim and needed their help to find them and bring them back to class.
Our hunt had 8 clues which we hid around the school. 
Each clue led us to a spot around the school that we wanted to introduce them to, explain the rules for, or just show them because, well... they need to know it.
 We visited the playground and found this clue sticking out of the sand! "How did the swimming things get into the sand? They need water!" Play along Honey...this is going to end in your favor.
 We visited the bathroom and talked about rules. 
Go, Flush, Wash, Leave
Those are the Rules our school has adopted for bathroom use this year. Short, sweet and to the point. Love them!

We visited the library, custodian, cafeteria, health office, front office, and finally landed ourselves in the Principal's office to find our hidden treasure! They ate it up, and it was a good thing because our lil' morning had us running way into our first recess! Sugar rush crashing...
Our treasure hunt treats/recess snacks were goldfish crackers, so we hustled them to the snack tables and set them free for their very first recess. WOO HOO!!

After recess, we worked on our Welcome Pages. We just love to see how they color on the first day.
For those "Speedy Swordfish" in our class (AKA ~ Fast Finishers), we came up with some lil' assessment activities for the back of the coloring page. Sorry for the yucky pic. It's the best we can do at 1am on the first night of school. Sleep apparently was for summer? Good thing we hibernated for Fall!
This activity was awesome for seeing what our new friends know. It gave us a great peek into their lil' brains and gave them an opportunity to flaunt their Kindergarten feathers. You know how they love to show you what they know!

That took us all the way to lunch, and we were able to sit, eat and breathe for just a bit before heading back and diving into more welcoming, rules, and some free exploration of classroom materials before packing up and heading home. 

They asked to go home a lot. They were tired. It was hotter than hot. Many chose to just huddle in the shade instead of play. 
Poor, sweaty babies! If only we had a pool at school!

We know we're all exhausted and could definitely use showers, but no matter how tired and sweaty we are, we kinda can't wait to do it all again tomorrow! We hope this is a good sign that it is going to be a fabulous school year. {Knock on Wood}




6 comments:

  1. LOVE the treasure hunt idea!! PRECIOUS!!:)

    Kimberly
    The Learning Tree

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very cute! Seems like you had a fantastic first day!

    Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

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  3. 21?!?! 21?!?
    I'm not talking to you anymore.

    Okay, just kidding.
    I'd love to do the Kissing Hand . . . but that's a kinder thing at my school. I do allow (and always have) parents in the room to do whatever on the first day. If they linger (hasn't happened in years), I tell all the kids to wave bye to their parents as a sort of hint.

    We used to go on a Bear Hunt to tour the school (we have a class bear), but as our class sizes grew, I didn't have the energy. There are too many of them to corral.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the bathroom rules.

    Get some sleep!

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  4. Love, love, love the kissing hands and the treasure hunt! What sweet and fun ideas for the first day of school!
    Katie & Lisen
    We are now following you and would LOVE it if you would stop by sometime!!
    www.wearesecondgradesmartypants.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Adorable... all of it.
    I really like the scavenger hunt.
    I can't believe I didn't have anyone ask when we were going home this year - but the trips to the bathroom are killing me! ;-P

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  6. Where can I get the clues print outs??? LOVE that idea!!

    ReplyDelete

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