Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day of First Grade!

Yesterday was Katy's first day of first grade. Of course kindergarten was a big step last year, but this felt like another large leap. Instead of 2.5 hours, she's gone 6.5 hours (it seems so LONG during the day). She's eating lunch at school. She's having at least one daily recess, some days two. It just feels like a bigger deal all the way around.

When the class assignments were handed out last week, I was a little disappointed, not as much about the teacher, but because it seemed that all the kids that we know outside of school were all in other classes. We went in for meet-the-teacher and I scanned the nametags around the room and it was true, we only know a couple of the kids, and not very well. But I'm sure we'll get to know other people, so it will be fine. Her teacher seems really nice and well organized and I have a good impression so far.

Katy was having some anxiety (surprise, surprise) leading up to the first day, asking lots of legitimate questions ("Will I be working ALL day? How often will we have assemblies? Will I have lunch and recess with other first grade classrooms? Will I have my own desk?"). But the bigger kids on our street helped to get her excited and when the morning came, she was ready to go.

Her backpack was so heavy with all the supplies and her lunch!

David doesn't start for a few weeks, but for the sake of record.  (And wait...does he look...taller than Katy?!?)
We went to pick her up (mass chaos! We just stand outside and wait for the kid to walk out the door? There are tons of walkers and car riders so it is just plain chaos), and the first thing she said was that she was tired and hot. They were supposed to have gym but the teacher wasn't there so they had extra recess instead. She had a good day. Her favorite part was lunch. She didn't really play or sit with anyone she knew. She likes her teacher. It took "three quarters" of the day to put their supplies away and they only had "one quarter" of the day left. The principal gets over the loud speaker and "announces things." The teacher has a "screen where she can show you how to do work and you can see her hand really big on the board." (old fashioned overhead? or something more sophisticated? I know they use smartboards but I don't really know what those's been awhile.)

We were walking down the street with the 3 other families on our court who have kids at that school. One of the little girls asked if she could come over and play, and I told her we were going inside for a few minutes to talk about school, but then we would come out. Once we got inside, Katy said, "Now I understand why last year the big kids didn't want to play with me as soon as they got home from school. I am tired and I just want to go home!"

All in all it was a good start to the year. I still have some things that I don't understand yet (how drop off and pick up work, how to add money to her "debit card" in case she forgets her lunch, when they have specials), but I know those answers will come with time. I'm impressed that the teacher was able to move 26  new six year olds through the whole day without losing her mind. The rest will follow.


bluedaisy said...

So glad that the first day went well! It is alot to take in for the kids--and for parents too! We have full day kindergarten so that makes the transition to first grade a little easier. I'm still anxious to have both a first grader and a kindergartener but am excited for the year to start (on the 27th).

Not sure how your school works but ours has a pretty good website and each teacher has their own part of the site that explains their daily schedule, etc. That helped me ramp up with all those details which took me a while to catch on to as well.

Very excited to share this first grade year :)

Oma said...

David does look taller in the picture. (Don't tell Katy.)

There is a reason that the first week isn't a full 5 days. The emotional stress plus the longer day would probably cause more meltdowns in a full week.

Getting through the first day with some positive feedback is good. Yay, Katy!!

tracy said...

Hey Emily-
I hopped over her via Erin's comments, hoping to read some more pregnancy news, but am actually so glad I found this post. Ruth started kindergarten this week, it is full day (there are essentially no half day options around here, especially in the public school system), and there are a lot of similarities between her first day experience and Katy's. I'll be thinking about your family as we both embark on this crazy all-day school adventure.