Sunday, February 22, 2009

Finally, an update.

Ok. Sorry that it has taken me so long to let everyone know about how Alexander's first day of school went. I spent all day yesterday helping Owen get ready to go to Maryland for a week of training... well that and taking a spinning class at Yorkshire Yarns.


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We got to Whitman Elementary at 8:30. Class started at 8:45, so we had plenty of time to find out where he was supposed to go. We went to the school office and they told us where the Headstart classroom was. Once we found out, Alexander was off like a rocket!

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He skipped all the way down the stairs and down the long halls to his classroom. When we got to his classroom he was assigned a locker to share (with a little girl named Mikaila!)

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Once his backpack was put away, it was "library time". They have a little area in the class with cushions and books and the kids can look through books or have a story read to them while the group waits for breakfast. (BTW there aren't any pictures of his day during class. I was not allowed to take pictures because I did not have the consent of all the kids parents, just in case someone else snuck into a picture.)

At 9:00 the class walked in a straight line to the bathrooms where everyone washed their hands. Then they walked up to the cafeteria. There they were given a big breakfast of oatmeal with raisins, dry wheat toast and canned pears. They also got a box of milk! They were given about 30 minutes to eat, then they had to clear the table. They put their silverware in cups on the table and dumped their food leftovers in the trash and put their bowls and trays in the bin for them.... Then we all filed down to the classroom again.

Once in the classroom the teacher handed out everyones toothbrushes. All the kids brushed their teeth while sitting at their tables! They had little cups to spit into!

After tooth brushing... they did circle time. They had the little alphabet rug and everything! During circle time, they first added the date to the calendar, then put the day's weather on the Weather Chart. Then the teacher (whose name I will update when I remember it) read a story that was written in Spanish. She read it in Spanish, then translated it to English. I thought that that was kinda cool!

After circle time it was time for "stations". Stations is basically semi-structured playtime. They can do any of several activities that they want, as long as they share and clean up any mess they make. There was painting, a water table, blocks, books, writing, and "housekeeping" which is really just a bunch of cool little activities in rubbermaid shoeboxes. There was puzzles, and weaving boards and those little toys you can "sew" strings through. Alexander mostly played with the blocks. He did flip through a couple of books though!

After Stations came recess. We all went outside and played in the play area. There is a playground and swings and alot of asphalt to play on. They were not allowed in the grass area cause the older kids (3rd and 4th grade I think) were up in the grass area. Alexander had a fantastic time running around with a bunch of boys his own age. He was the fastest runner in the whole group.

As recess ended the kids were asked to line up for lunch. Alexander became a little confused and accidentally followed the 3rd graders back to class. They kinda panicked when he wasn't in line, but I suggested that they try near the door to the classroom. He was sitting right there by the door, waiting for the class to catch up. The teacher brought him back and we all filed back to the bathroom to wash our hands and then on to the cafeteria to have lunch.

Lunch consisted of cheese pizza, salad, milk and a kiwi. I was even given lunch too! The kids ate lunch (again about 30 minutes was given to eat) and then cleaned up their table. We all lined up and filed back to the classroom.

After lunch all the kids sat down on the circle time mat again and this time they did song games for a while. They sang a song about monkeys teasing crocodiles and getting eaten.... and a silly version of the ittys bitsy spider, and then they did the hokey pokey!

The day ended with Journaling. For journaling, each kid is given their notebook and their box of crayons. They draw a picture and then the teacher or an aid writes down a short story (a couple of lines) that the child makes up about their picture. Alexander drew fireworks and a guy in shorts and a t-shirt, and another guy with a red blob drawn all over him. When I asked him what the story was behind his picture (so I could write it down for him) he told me that two guys were watching some fireworks. One guy got to close and he got exploded (the guy with the red blob!) and then the other guy decided to just go to the beach instead of watching fireworks. The end. I hope that he doesn't draw to many pictures about guys getting exploded. The teachers are gonna start to worry about him!

After journaling the kids were told that they could go have library time until their parents showed up to get them. Since I was already there, Alexander and I were able to just go.

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Alexander wanted me to take a picture of him in front of his locker so that I could show it to Owen.

We went and checked out at the office (as a visitor I had to sign in and out!) and then out we went!

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Alexander loved sliding down the banister on the way out....

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Alexander practically ran to the van on the way out! He couldn't wait to go home and tell his Daddy all about the awesome time he had at school. He cant wait to go back on Monday.
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