Circle time usually happens at the beginning of the preschool day, and is a great way to bring the class together and initiate interactive learning. Several different subjects can be covered during morning circle time, including reviewing the day’s calendar, revealing the letter of the day, taking note of the current weather conditions, sharing each student’s mood, show and tell, story time and even singing and dancing. This is a time for teachers to introduce new lessons and allow students to carry on the discussion.
Morning circle is a positive time, during which teachers encourage all students to share and participate in the learning experience. Through circle time, preschoolers will build confidence by speaking in front of their peers, and develop social skills by taking turns and listening to one another. These skills will be beneficial for young students to learn at an early age, as they will be used throughout the remainder of their educations and professional lives.
Preschoolers are actively involved in the learning process for the duration of morning circle time. It is not a time for passive learning, where the teacher reads or lectures for long periods, but rather an opportunity for interactive learning, where students are sharing and absorbing knowledge.
How to Conduct Morning Circle Time
Teachers should be well-prepared for morning circle time activities. This takes prior planning for each lesson, setting up carpet squares or place mats for each child, learning the words to a new song, or compiling a list of words that begin with the letter of the day. It would be wise to make certain that there are enough materials for each child if supplies are necessary and check games to be sure that all pieces are still there and in tact. Because circle time requires student participation, being disorganized will result in the children losing focus and interest.
A specific area in the preschool classroom should be home to circle time activities. In addition, holding morning circle at the same time each day will teach young students routine and time management skills. If children know where and at what time the activities will be every morning, they may begin to gravitate toward that area without having to be asked.
Keeping young students enthused throughout the duration of an activity is usually a challenging task. For this reason, lessons should switch between physical and mental stimulation. If the teacher begins by singing a good morning song, the next activity may be quietly reading or completing a puzzle. Teachers should also be mindful of any age or developmental discrepancies. A game that works well with four year olds may not work as well with two year olds, and vice versa.
Getting Preschoolers Interested in Morning Circle Time
Starting off morning circle time slowly will allow students to ease into the activity at their own paces. Some students may be shyer than others, or have a harder time speaking in front of the group. By beginning with a song or group discussion, preschoolers will become more comfortable with sharing their thoughts and feelings with the class. Save the main activity or new lesson for after the students have warmed up to circle time.
Depending on the class, circle time can vary greatly in length. This may be based on the age of the students and their temperaments. Younger students tend to get distracted more quickly and easily, whereas older students can generally last a bit longer. Additionally, if the activities are engaging, young students will usually fare better than if they were to be listening to a long story or lecture.
Morning circle time is a great setting for bringing the class together to participate in group activities. It allows students to develop self-confidence by speaking in front of the class and critical thinking skills by completing tasks on the spot. Circle time also creates a sense of predictability and comfort by encouraging learning and involvement in a safe, educational environment.