UNPLUGGED! - CIRCLE TIME by Dr. Jean Feldman
Downloadable eBook - 83 Pages - Lots of Activities - Plus many videos
I’ve been at this rodeo a LONG time, but before they put me out to the pasture, I want to keep all the ideas I’ve gleaned along the way alive, and I want them available for you.
I am a broken record saying, “THE WORLD KEEPS CHANGING, BUT CHILDREN ARE THE SAME.” The activities I used in my classroom years ago will still work for you today. You can call it circle time, or morning meeting, or anything you want, but the bottom line is it’s a special way to start your day.
What if someone says that circle time is a waste of time?
What would you respond? Do you really think it’s a waste of time? Most of us who have actually sat in a circle with our children to start the day realize it is MAGIC! It is the way to connect with your children, nurture your classroom family, develop social emotional skills, and set the stage for the day. Since standards and skills are driving education, take a look at these skills that can be nurtured in a natural way. How will this eBook help you and your students?
Oral language – Children learn to feel comfortable talking in a group and expressing their thoughts and opinions. They also learn to listen to their classmates and respect their ideas.
Literacy skills – Alphabet songs, phonological awareness activities, choral reading, nursery rhymes, finger plays, daily message, and classroom print can be highlighted at circle time.
Math concepts – Talking about the calendar, counting the friends present, comparing sizes, or discussing shapes can be a meaningful part of circle time.
Executive function – As children learn to sit quietly and participate in a group they are developing self-regulation. There is also a beginning and an end to the routine.
Classroom management – This is a time when the teacher can reinforce simple skills, explain classroom activities, review the daily schedule, and model expectations.
Social skills – Learning to take turns and listen to classmates is expected in circle time. As children sing songs together or say rhymes or finger plays they can have fun with their friends. Brainstorm classroom problems – tattling, hurting someone’s feelings, pushing in line, etc.
Emotional skills – In circle time all children can be accepted and valued for their individuality. Feelings that we are all different, but that’s O.K. are of primary focus.
Physical skills – Dances and movement songs release wiggles and oxygenate the brain. Cross-lateral activities activate the brain and get it ready to learn.
Science Social Studies – Talking about the weather, the leaves changing colors, the different ways families celebrate, classroom pets, and real events in the children’s world are meaningful topics at circle time. Specific themes and units of study can also be integrated into this large group time.
Love a Book - Circle time can be used for book walks, talks, themes, and bibliotherapy.
*A book walk is where you pretend to walk your fingers through the book as children look at the pictures and make predictions.