Welcoming our new Junior Kindergarten friends

Every spring, we have a "First Impressions" day (orientation) for the new Junior Kindergarten students who will be entering school in September, and their parents. 
Ours was just over a week ago.
Over the past few weeks, we heard a lot of children in our classroom have conversations about their siblings starting school:
J.R.:  My brother is coming to school here next year!  I think he's going to be in this class!
S.C.:  Hey, my brother is coming too!
When I asked the children if they wanted to help us prepare for First Impressions, they got very excited!  Some students wanted to bake them a snack and have them eat it (my students really enjoy the snack table this year - such great conversations take place there!).
We searched for a "cookie" recipe online and found a Smarties Cookies one that everyone agreed looked the best!
After writing the recipe on chart paper for all to follow, and gathering our ingredients, the students worked with Mrs. C. (our E.A.) measuring, mixing and forming the cookies.
Each cookie called for exactly 5 Smarties...these students are working carefully to make each cookie perfect!
We noticed that the children were sorting our the leftover Smarties in the bowl once we finished prepping our cookies.
Mrs. Albanese:  What do you want to do with these leftover Smarties?
Everyone:  Eat them!
A couple of students, M.D. and J.R., worked on a graph to represent how many of each Smartie colours were left for the students to choose from.
They also wanted to make the new JK friends something to drink, so we Googled "juice" and here's what we found:
The students unanimously decided that the "pink" juice would be best and we found out that it was called "Hot Pink Lemonade".
So once again we wrote the recipe on chart paper for all to follow, got our ingredients, and had quite the number of students wanting to help us with this task!
We squeezed the lemons to get their juice.
S.Q.:  I've squeezed oranges before using this machine.
M.J.:  Can we keep the lemon seeds and then plant them too?

S.B.:  I want to write out the recipe so that I can take it home and make it with my mom.

 We put the finished juice in the fridge (it isn't pink just yet!) and one student wanted to write a "stop" sign so that no one would drink it -
Note: We use our "Please stop...we are still thinking" signs a lot in the classroom to show others that we are not quite done with the activity we are working on.
I love how this student used that connection when creating his sign.
Since it was decided that all of the students wanted a copy of the recipe, which we ended up photocopying and sending home, I asked the students to help me write a letter to the parents explaining what we did and the importance of the recipes.
Here we are typing up the letter on the Bright Links board.
Other students wanted to draw pictures for the new JK students of all the fun things they do at school and why school is fun.  This student asked to compile all of the work onto a large poster board so that we could display it next to the snack table.
A group of girls decided to make a large sign to show that everything was "Made by Kindergarten Students".
I love "kid-writing", don't you!?!
Here is our finished "Snack Table" in the library - I know that the new JK friends coming to school in September really enjoyed eating a snack made by our class!
I'm looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow night at our Welcome to Kindergarten event!
I think they will all be excited to see our classroom, this time, and the wonderful things that we do on a daily basis!


  1. Could you post a picture of what smarties are? They look like M&Ms on your blog. The Smarties I have seen are sour and pale in color? Thank you. Thyordan@aol.com

    1. Wintaka, I am from Canada too (but teach in the U.S.) and yes, Smarties there are like our M&M's in the U.S.
      Andrea :)

    2. Hi! Smarties are delicious (and are similar to M&M's but taste better!). They are so colourful. A picture of what they look like is above where the students sorted them in the plastic bowl.

  2. Can you tell me more about what you do with the kids and parents on WTK night and first impressions. Thanks so much


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