• Last modified 660 days ago (Aug. 24, 2022)


Kindergartners, other students head back to school

Staff writer

The lights were dim, and relaxing music played Monday afternoon in Jessica Ensley’s kindergarten classroom at Marion Elementary School as her 13 kindergarten students napped on big towels.

When naptime was finished, Ensley told her students — who were in their first day of school — that “if someone is still sleeping, we’re going to let them sleep because their body needs it.”

Ensley instructed the class to fold their towels in halves and put them on top of their lockers.

One little girl snoozed a bit longer, and when she woke up, Ensley helped her with her towel.

Then it was time for developmental centers — building blocks, play kitchen, Legos, and Magna-Tiles.

“This is the moment you’ve been waiting for since this morning. When you get back, you’re going to do centers,” she told her pint-sized pupils.

The centers feature activities designed to help teach the students to make good choices, be a good friend, talk nicely to each other, take turns, and work together. Ensley drew students’ names for each center. On Fridays, they’ll get to go to the station of their choosing.

“Watch with your eyes,” Ensley said when pointing out where each center was in the classroom.

Students could use blocks to build whatever they wanted, but “the blocks can’t be taller than a kindergartner,” she explained.

“So what do you do if it’s taller?” Ensley asked her students.

“Bonk it!” one girl answered.

That wasn’t quite the answer Ensley was looking for, but it worked.

At the play kitchen, a girl announced “OK, I’m ready to cook!”

After their centers, students ate snacks — milk (mostly chocolate) and animal-cracker-like cookies in the shapes of letters and numbers.

Next up was recess.

“We’re getting really close to the end of your whole first day,” Ensley said.

“This is fun!” Rosalyn Collett, 5, exclaimed.

Last modified Aug. 24, 2022