At Seymour Primary, first graders cover the basics
"Does anyone know what a clock is?" asked Mrs. Clark.
A little girl raised her hand. "Yes?" said Mrs. Clark.
"It's like a round circle," the little girl said, "and it has clock stuff on it."
"That's true," Mrs. Clark said. Then she told the class more about clocks, which have big hands and little hands.
Friday was the first day of classes at Seymour Primary School. Seventeen first graders sat on a rainbow-colored carpet in Mrs. Melanie Clark's classroom.
Mrs. Clark reminded the students that when they sit on the carpet, they must observe the carpet rules: Legs crossed. Hands in lap. Listen.
Most were listening. A few weren't.
A boy raised his hand. "Where is Miss Jennifer?" he asked.
"One thing you'll discover," Mrs. Clark told a visitor, "is that on the first day of school, there are lots of questions."
Mrs. Clark posed a question of her own: "How many of you know the months of the year?" Some of the children raised their hands.
It was time to sing a song about the months. Mrs. Clark cued up a CD. "These are the months of the year," she sang. "Let's fill them with joy and cheer." The children sang along.
"Usually if I can sing it, I enjoy it more than saying it," Mrs. Clark told the children.
Mrs. Clark reviewed the days of the week. "Why do we like Friday?" she asked.
"Because ice cream?" a boy guessed.
"No," Mrs. Clark said. "Raise your hand."
The boy raised his hand. "Because after Friday is Saturday?"
"That's right!" Mrs. Clark said.
"On Saturday, we don't have to do anything," another boy said.
A voice came from a speaker on the wall: "Mrs. Clark, tell Jordan his lunch is in the principal's office."
"Thank you," Mrs. Clark said.
Mrs. Clark told the class about different ways to keep track of numbers. One was tally marks. Another involved small plastic cubes that snapped together. She asked a boy named Caleb to snap the cubes together. He did.
"Would you like to take a bow, Caleb?" Mrs. Clark asked. Caleb placed his hand over his stomach, closed his eyes and bowed deeply.
Jordan raised his hand. "My lunch is in the principal's office," he said.
"Thank you, Jordan," Mrs. Clark said.
Another boy raised his hand. "Can I put my glasses over there?" he asked.
"Your glasses look very nice on your face," Mrs. Clark said.
Another boy raised his hand. "This is the last question," Mrs. Clark said.
"We're going to have a good day," the boy said.
"Yes," Mrs. Clark said. "We're going to have a good day."