Small steps, big strides: Starting the first day of Kindergarten
The new school year started on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, and for Kindergarteners across the District it was also the beginning of their education journey. At Strathcona Elementary, Kindergarten classes were kept short the first week. Students were only in school during the early morning each day. One student starting Kindergarten was Isabella, in Jacqueline Sabouniha’s class.
Sabouniha’s class began with a soft start, with students in groups at tables playing with colourful puzzle pieces to make shapes like flowers and animals. Once all the students arrived in class, they received a laminated sheet with their names on it and a dry erase marker. With Sabouniha’s help, they practiced tracing their names letter by letter. They will do this most days to help them develop literacy skills. Isabella made quick work of the activity and soon she was erasing her name and beginning again.
After, Isabella and her classmates enjoyed some carpet time where they introduced themselves, shared about their families and learned a new friendship song. For the next activity, Sabouniha brought out a bin of LEGO and let the students get creative with the pieces. Isabella worked with some of her classmates to construct a house. The class ended with story time as Sabouniha read to the children. Soon enough, the bell rang and school was over for the day.
For Sabouniha, the end of class did not signal the end of the day. The rest of her schedule was filled with meeting parents and preparing for the next day’s lesson. She is in her second year of teaching and her first at Strathcona, but she is full of excitement for the year ahead.
“The class is very sweet, they’re very curious,” Sabouniha says. “I am very big on relationships. I will be spending a lot of time getting to know the kids, getting to know what works. I want every kid to feel confident and have fun while in my classroom.
When the students were done for the day, they gathered their belongings and followed their teacher to the courtyard in single file. There, the children met parents, caregivers and daycare workers. With her first day of Kindergarten finished, Isabella gave a big wave and ran to join her afterschool program with her friends.