The alarm went off this morning and I practically sprinted out of bed in excitement and nervous energy. This morning is my first day with my class (kind of) and I absolutely cannot wait to meet them and to start getting routines in place.
This summer my school is running a "Jump Start" program. Students in grades 1st-5th were invited to come to school for 3 weeks this summer to get extra help in reading, writing, and math. Since the county no longer has summer school it's our way of meeting the needs for kids who would otherwise qualify for summer school (which is actually even more fabulous because typically you send kids off to summer school and don't know what happens to them. Now our teachers are working with these kids in summer school and are able to provide exactly what we know they need and track their progress from the summer to the school year).
Our lucky kinders are only invited to attend for 2 weeks instead of 3. We've invited as many children as we could who registered for kindergarten with no preschool experience. These two weeks will give them a chance to learn to walk in the hallways, how to sit quietly on the rug and listen to a story, how to use playground equipment safetly with other children, and all those other school social norms that are difficult for children who have never had to participate in large group activities without their parents before.
One of the classes coming in, however, is my class. All ten of my future lovelies were invited, and today I think I could have as many as 8. This gives my students a chance to get to know routines and adjust to school before school actually starts. The days are only 3 hours long, which is probably the right amount of time for all of us (including me) to begin to warm up to each other. My long-term sub is co-teaching with me this week so that she gets to know the kids too. Once I'm gone she'll be a familiar face, and when I come back hopefully they'll still remember who I am.
So this morning is the first day of school, but only kind of. Only for 3 hours. I can make it. My entire lesson plans surround Responsive Classroom's the First Six Weeks of School, which normally goes well in a general education classroom. I hope I'm able to adapt quickly enough on the go to make it work for all the different needs in my classroom. I have no idea how these little ones will be able to sit on the rug and listen to me talk, or even how many of them will be able to use the materials I'll be introducing to them. If we do a guided discovery with crayons, but some of them cannot use crayons, hows that going to go.
Adapt, adapt, adapt, is going to be the name of the game.
Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly and that we do not have any screamers, runners, throwers, or hitters. Hopefully I'll have the energy to blog tonight to let you know how it goes...