A consistent routine that takes place every preschool day is Circle Time. I want to use this post to outline circle time.
I use this time at the beginning, after the Opening Activity to bring my little class together and individually welcome each child. We sit in our labeled chairs for this part and go through a few simple routines to get us ready for the rest of preschool time.
- Welcome and pin up pictures
I individually and as group welcome each child by name. They each have an individual picture that they tape on our learning wall. We talk about how pinning our picture up means we are ready and happy to be at preschool. We want to do our best to follow the rules and be kind. We cheer as each child tapes their picture to the learning wall.
- Sing Our Welcome Song
I will use music with young children and probably older till the day I die! Best engagement tool ever! We use the song “Mary Will You Stand Up.” This song individually says each child’s name and they stand and smile. This is definitely a favorite.
The concept of time, days, weeks, months is very hard for children and sometimes calendar feels a little silly. But I have consistently done a lot of calendar time with my own children and in the past 3 months my 4 year old has developed an excellent sense of time! CONSISTENCY has paid off! She loves knowing the days of the week and keeps track of events! We also discuss the weather and how it looks and feels outside. Recently I have printed paper dolls to help us understanding dressing for certain temperatures. If you’re curious about the songs we use and the general idea of calendar, I made a story highlight a year or so ago. I also use Crafting Cheerfully graphics for my calendar.
- Sing ABCs, Count, and Shape Game
We sing our ABC song and practice identifying our special letter (first letter of our name, will add more as children need and want to). We also do a number puzzle to practice counting and recognizing the number symbols. We then play the Shape Game. I use a felt board, hide a special seasonal shape (ex. A pumpkin) behind a certain shape and we practice identifying the shape and color while we are looking for the ‘special shape’ under the big shape. “Is the pumpkin under the ‘blue triangle? Under the red square?” This game is a winner. I learned this at my local library! Keeps attention so well.
That is it! That is circle time! I try to keep it on the shorter side and definitely consistent. For the first few times of preschool we practiced this over and over. Now it is a favorite time where my students have developed confidence and love to show me that they know how to do every aspect.