Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Making Circle Time Easier (and Developmentally Appropriate!)


 I am all about setting up systems to make everyday classroom activities easier - especially when it means that I won't have to spend as much time planning! I wanted to share my circle time system with you.  It is designed to make sure that circle time is enjoyable for everyone, which means that I am able to get through the content I want to get through, the children are able to move around a little, and the whole thing is over in ten minutes or less so we can dig into our centers.


The first set of printables are for calendar.  I don't spend a ton of time focused on calendar work.  My main goal is to expose the children to the days of the week and the months, so that they are able to recognize some of the words associated with calendar.  I also use the date numbers to practice counting and number recognition.  I love this calendar set because it has the holiday and special day icons, along with the labels for this month, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


I use letter and number cards during circle time almost every day, so I made a set to match my calendar printables.  These cards are for quick games that get the kiddos up and moving, while waking up their brains for the day.  I've also included descriptions of all of the games that we play with these cards, such as letter scavenger hunts and "go bring me this many..."


Singing is always a huge part of my circle time.  Certain songs get sung every day (our good morning song, for example), while others focus on numbers and counting, others encourage movement, and others are just silly.  If we don't do a letter or number game, we'll use the song cards instead.

I also included my Question of the day set (but of course, I made it match the rest of the components).  I like to do Question of the Day during circle because the children's answers often start great conversations, and they help the children get to know each other.  Sometimes it is clear that circle time has gone on long enough, and then I'll do question of the day one-on-one with each child throughout the morning.  I always post the answers because parents love to read them!

All of these materials make it easy for me to plan for circle.  I might tweak the songs to fit a particular season, but other than that it is universal and appropriate for any season, plus I know that the children are learning the social skills that can only be learned during circle time.

If you want more details on my Circle Time Mega Pack you can download a preview here!

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