Ella started kindergarten on Monday, August 26th. She was so ready and so excited for 'big school.'
We got to meet her teacher the Thursday before school started and check out her classroom. Here she is in the book corner and home center.
Ella's teacher gave the students a 'magic gem' to sleep with under their pillow the night before kindergarten to give them sweet dreams and get them all ready for the big day. Ella got a big kick out of it and slept with it for a few extra nights for good measure.
Here is the sweet angel on her last night before starting kindergarten!
We had a big shift in morning routine because Ella and Steve used to leave the house around 7:45 am each morning. Her new school begins at 7:40 am (and they are supposed to be there around 7:20 am), which means she needs to get up a full hour earlier in the mornings.
We gradually shifted bedtime earlier during the month of August, but it was still a big change for her to start getting up earlier and when it is still dark every day.
Here she is - all ready to go on her first morning!
Outside her classroom
Sitting at her seat and working on her first official kindergarten picture!
Saying goodbye to Daddy
It was hard to leave her but she was ready for us to go and get busy. All day long I was thinking about her and couldn't wait for her to get home to hear all the details. She rode the bus home for the first time that afternoon and I was so excited to see her. She was happy and smiley and had all kinds of good stories about her first day.
She rode the bus in the next morning for the first time. The bus has been great so far. The bus driver is really sweet and Ella sits in the front seat. She waves and blows kisses every morning when the bus pulls away (although she did have a talk with me about staying on the sidewalk and letting her walk up to the bus by herself!).
A few other pics from her first week of school
So far, so good! She loves her teacher, has made new friends, and is learning a lot. She is still excited to go every day and I love hearing about all that she's learning.
Some of her schoolwork from the first week:
A few notes that I want to remember:
- A few weeks in, Ella was saying grace before dinner and all of a sudden she says, "Oh Texas, I honor thee...." -- apparently she is learning the Texas Pledge and it somehow made it's way into our pre-dinner prayer :)
- I got Ella an alarm clock to help get her moving in the morning. One morning she let it ring and ring and yelled to me "Mommy! Mommy! Something is wrong - my alarm clock is going off and it's the middle of the night!!" (...it was time to wake up :))
- She is working pretty hard on her handwriting, especially her lowercase letters, and is learning to write on lined paper
- She's got a bunch of new sight words down and can read some simple sentences of her sight words strung together.
- "Kid spelling" is scary to her and she would prefer to not do it...we're working on it
- She can count to 110 (and lucky Grammy got to hear the full count), and do some adding and subtracting
- Her favorite things so far: PE (especially hula hooping), art class, music class, writers workshop, recess, and the bus
- They have a clip system for behavior each day and everyone starts each day on "ready to learn." Her clip can move up or down based on behavior and then at the end of the day they get a certain number of stamps on their sticker charts based on which status they ended up on for the day. When she fills up her sticker chart, she gets to go to the treasure chest that Friday and pick out a prize. The top level is "Super Student" and Ella told me it was just too hard to try to reach Super Student. In her 3rd week of school she came home really excited and told me that she had reached Super Student. I was so proud of her. Later in the week she was talking about how they had a substitute teacher that she really liked and that was the day she has earned Super Student...ah, got it. She's been to treasure twice so far and is on track to go this week. The only downside is once she fills up her chart and knows she's going to treasure that Friday, she's pretty darn content with "ready to learn" for the rest of the week...
Cute robot space picture she made during art class
And this is pretty funny - Ella's teacher posted this picture of the high school football players visiting Ella's classroom on Spirit Day on her class blog...
...apparently we're going to need to work on Ella's school spirit!