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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Flamingo Friday--First Day of School Jitters with a Flamingo Book


Today we are sharing a book by Jamie Harper, Miss Mingo and the First Day of School. Now the teacher of the class is the only flamingo in the book, however this is a fun book with many interesting animal facts. Miss Mingo's class consists of many animals including an ant to an elephant and a giraffe. Plus she even has a narwhal and an octopus. The theme of the first day of school is to tel what makes you special. Miss Mingo starts with how she eats upside down and her food makes her pink. Slowly the students begin to share something special about themselves and warm up to each other. The day ends with a pool party in pelican's pouch and using giraffe's tongue as a slide. 

This book is a fun reminder how each of us is special in our own way. I know many students and teachers are anxious about the first day of school each year. I know Hazel is extra anxious since we are switching her school. This book shows how many are shy and that is all right and if you open up and are yourself you will have fun.

To go with this book, I made up a little memory game. Hazel and I had fun playing it. The cards have each animal on them with their special characteristic in small print. To download your own copy in Word, click the picture below.

I know many schools have started or are starting next week. Hazel's new school does not start until after Labor Day, so we still are enjoying another week of summer. The change of schools has caused quite a bit of anxiety in Hazel, but we know it is the right thing for all of us. She has been very clingy this summer because she is afraid of the unknown.

Now I know I have not shared much as to why we have made the decision to switch schools. We had a bit of a discipline/communication issue last year. There was one student who had a few impulse issues and Hazel had a few run-ins with him. One being something inappropriate said to her. I found out about it from another child or that Hazel had cried quite a bit that day and it took me two hours to find out why from her. Then towards the end of the year she told me that the same boy was going under the snack table and biting her legs and pinching her. The teacher's response was that she thought it was only pinching but biting was unacceptable. Now pinching was unacceptable to me and the fact that it was happening quite often and I had not been told anything by anyone. Now many of the students had issues with this boy (one refused to come to school anymore even after he was kicked out). But what bothered us most was how it was dealt with and that we heard stories that it was not the only time where they had these kind of issues. We decided then that this was not the place for our innocent, shy, rule following (to a fault) daughter and looked for something else. We went to the opposite type of school and now she is going to be attending a traditional Christian school. She is excited that she will learn to read this year, but scared to be leaving what she has known. 

To ease this transition, we have read books about the first day of school, we have had playdates with a few of the students in the new school and we have had several visits to the school. Today she got to spend some time talking to one of the teachers when we stopped by for a visit. I think this helped. There are several blogs that have wonderful lists of books to read, so I am going to leave a few links for you in case you want to ease the day as well.

Lists of First Day of School Books
So that is our story on going back to school. We have truly found Miss Mingo and the First Day of School enjoyable to read and educational. Plus it has enabled me to have many conversations about the first day of school and making new friends. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I am sorry that you had so many issues last year. I agree with you that school's response was unacceptable. Anna also had a lot of anxiety going to a new teacher and having new kids in her class this year (the school is still the same), but she is loving it now. I hope it's going to be the same for Hazel.
    And, by the way, the book you shared sounds like a great book!

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