Town Square

First day in the first grade

Original post made by Emily West, editor of Danville Express, on Aug 19, 2010

Students in Suzanne Hutchinson's first grade classroom at St. Isidore School on La Gonda Way Thursday morning were a little timid, but warmed up as the morning progressed.

In explaining the classroom rules, children were also introduced to the idea of "passers," a leadership role at each cluster of desks. The first group of passers collected the envelopes containing all the first-day documents that a group of volunteers were busy sorting through in the school's office.

The students then gathered at the front of the classroom -- not before being reminded to push in their chairs -- and seemed to warm up after singing the "Open Shut Them" song, complete with familiar hand motions.

Easing into the school year, Hutchison read "One World, One Day" as they sat cross-legged on the rug.

The book was fitting, Hutchison told the young group, as they were going to be learning about the world. We live in homes, she said, asking them where homes were. Kids eagerly raised their wiggling hands while others just shouted out the answer: homes are on a street. Where is the street located? Getting a little louder and more antsy, the kids said, "in a city!" The enthusiasm remained as they confirmed that a state is in a country, but then the confidence faded as they struggled to figure out what was after that -- continents all the way to a galaxy.

As Hutchison read aloud, most kids were enthralled; one talked to a friend and was corrected. She opened the book to reveal beautiful photos from around the world by slowly panning the book from one side of the semi-circle to the other.

==B What do you remember about the first day of school? ==