With the new school year comes the quest to find the perfect routine for a new group of children. What worked last year may not feel just right now, and what works for Pre-K probably won’t work with toddlers. So, I asked some of our teachers to share what is working in their classroom (at least for today)!
Ms. Elizabeth in the Littles Class (Ages 2-3) said:
“For littles we use the buttons on the rug and circle time toys to keep their hands busy. When they have found a button they can choose a small toy to hold onto until it is time to get up to find our picture. Then they find their name and picture at one of the activities and get started! It keeps them from going all over the place when it is activity time.”
Name Cards with pictures attached to the chairs with Velcro. Once everyone has had a chance to do the activities, they can take the name tags off for free play.
Ms. Heather in the Preschool Class (Ages 3-4) said:
“I really like the mats! After they wash their hands, they grab a mat and sit criss-cross applesauce and wait for their friends. When everyone is ready, we stand up on our mats and do exercises to the Circle Time Song from the Mother Goose Time CD. It gets some wiggles out and keeps them from getting too distracted!”
The mats are simple foam place mats from IKEA, but there are lots of good ideas like this that give children a choice and their own space for Circle Time.
Ms. Jennifer in Pre-K (Ages 4-5) said:
“In Pre-K we use the 5 Star Listener poster to help us with transitions. They know that when we come inside from recess we walk to our room and sit on the carpet and they show me they’re a 5 star listener (eyes are watching, ears are listening, lips are closed, hands are still and feet are quiet). When they’re ready then we move on to the next thing. When I say let’s meet at the carpet they know to show me a 5 star listener and then we’re ready to move on. I also have been using the 5 minute sand timer. I give them a 5 minute warning before it’s time to clean up and they know that when the sand runs out it’s time to clean up and get ready for our next activity. When I turn the lights off they know to stop what they’re doing, put their hands on their head and look at me. That has been a great attention getter for my class.”
All of our kiddos love Circle Time! They like the special things that happen there and the predictability that when they hear the “Circle Time” song it is time to gather together and learn something new!