Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Circle Time (not so) Fun

I am writing this out of frustration hoping it helps new teachers out there.

I have been a lead preschool teacher for quite a few years now, but due to my choice of working part time I had to step down and be an assistant/floater. I am mostly with two year olds and the lead teacher that I help most of the time is new with preschoolers, she is an elementary school teacher mostly kindergarten and first grade, so two years old is quite different to what she is used to.

As I watch her “teach” a small group of two year olds, I have come to learn that a lot of things that are easy, common sense and second nature to me is not to others.

Let me start with circle time…

·       Please, please, please put a little more life to circle time that you normally would.  Circle time sets the energy for the rest of the day, either the kids are going to love it and enjoy it or hate it and start fuzzing, moving, wanting to go away or crying.

·       By putting more life to it I mean, add songs with hands and body movements, if you don’t know any… make them up. Learn sign language for the words you are using on your songs.
·       Add movement to your circle time, using songs that require children to get up and dance, stretch or touch something.

·       How about adding a marching band to circle time, maybe you can find a song that is suitable to march around the classroom giving each child a musical instrument.

·       When you see your kids (in your classroom) moving around, getting up, wanting to leave, why not follow their lead, you are not always going to have a perfect circle time, just let them get up and put a song that everybody can dance to it. And while you are all there might as well make it two (songs).

·       Once in a while bring something different to start the day with, maybe:

1.     Playdough
2.     A big hoola hoop for the kids to jump IN as you call their names
3.     A tunnel for them to go through as you call their names
4.     A limbo game to start the day
5.     Musical chairs
6.     Line up the chairs and pretend the kids are coming in to the school 1.     bus or train.

I mean the ideas are unlimited, maybe you can start the day with a felt story with you making funny voices for the characters.

Whichever of this ideas you decide to use just remember they are very young children that like to play and move around A LOT,  not sit for most of the day as most "teachers" believe so.

With all my best intentions, I hope this helps a lot of teachers out there :)

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