Your circle time for 3 year olds??

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by SamIAm, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Hi,
    I have gotten some wonderful ideas on this site that I'm using at circle time, but I'm new to teaching 3's, and wonder if I should be doing something more.
    Here is what I do for circle time:
    • Circle time song
    • Welcome song
    • Counting activity (We count while we jump, kick, twist etc.)
    • Discussion/ activity centered around topic

    I don't have a closing song, and ending circle time, admittedly, feels a bit awkward. I also don't do calendar since I think many of them don't really have the attention span for it. If we are moving and/or singing they do pretty well, but they don't do talking. I read our book at snack time.

    Anyway, I would love to hear what you do.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. K3 teacher

    K3 teacher Companion

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    Aug 3, 2010

    Not at the beginning of the year but circle eventually looks like this:

    hello song
    Day of the week (we don't do cal. but have a 7 day chart and we mark school and home days) and Leader and Tail
    Read the Busy Bee board (morning message) and do the activitiy - sort letters, play a game, learn a new song, etc.
    question of the day (they answer a yes no question as part of our beginning routine - we count how many yes and nos and I model write the numbers on the board, we talk about more, less, the same)
    Do an activity with one of the #s from ques. of the day - jump, turn, twist)
    I explain the small group centers

    It takes a long time to get here but most of the activities are really short and we always do some music in between each one. The longest activity is the morning message - probably about 5 minutes but it always has an active component to it- the rest take 2 min or less each. So eventually circle time lasts about 15 minutes - depending on how many stand up and move songs I do
     
  4. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2010

    i have done calender in a pre-k room for 3, 4, and 5's. I think I am going to do it very quickly at first and then once they get their attention span up I will let a helper do it. This is how it looks like so far, not sure if I am going to do all of these things and for sure I am going to do it slowly and work the kids up to it.

    *question of the day (they answer it first when they get in)
    *pledge
    *calender
    *weather
    *letter cheer (for the letter of the week by using alphatales by schlostic)
    *question of the day (counting)
    *Book or song with something to do with our theme for the week
    *explain small group centers
    *planning where the kids will play

    It seems like alot but I found it only takes about 15 minutes but can be shorter or longer if necessary.
     
  5. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Aug 4, 2010

    I think you circle time sounds perfect. Not too much, no calendar, and is developmentally appropriate.
     
  6. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Aug 4, 2010

    Just be sure to keep it to no longer than 15 minutes or else you'll end up with more group management issues than anything else. Eventually you can make it longer, but initially it needs to be quick and simple.
     
  7. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    Aug 4, 2010

    I include a nursery rhyme in my circle time.
     
  8. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    Aug 4, 2010

    Thanks, Blue. That means a lot to me since I know you're really experienced. I do think I overdo it with the activities sometimes. I try to keep them hands-on and fun, but I think I bite off more than I can chew sometimes. :)

    Max - I love the idea of doing nursery rhymes. Do you introduce a new one each class, or do you have a few that you rotate? How do you go about doing this? I don't do a lot of new songs with the kids. Introducing new songs all the time feels useless to me since they can't sing along. I just end up singing to myself and they stare at me. But I like the idea of maybe rotating a few well know nursery rhymes/songs for us to do together.

    Bre and K-3 - How do you go about doing the question of the day. Is it something they do with their parents when they come in? What kinds of questions do you ask? I don't think my kids are ready for this now, but my class is growing with me so I may want to do it in the future.

    Also, do any of you do any daily activities on letters. Most of my kids can't recognize letters, and I'd like to do something fun that could maybe (quickly introduce) one a day. I don't plan on doing anything like this until the fall.
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Aug 4, 2010

    Sam, what I like about your circle time is that it is DAP. So, in your experience, is teaching a 3 yr. old letters DAP? No, but teaching them pre-writing is DAP. To determine what to do, break down how to write. What do they need to know to write?

    1. How to make marks on a paper
    2. Muscle control
    3. Same and different (an A is always an A)

    So, your job is to create opportunities for these things to happen.
    1. You give them lots of opportunities to color, scribble, use pens, pencils, crayons, markers and let them go at it. One of my fall back activities is plain water and paper. Give them a paint brush, and they love it.
    2. Muscles have to develop before they can write. Lots of finger activities--fingerplays, playdough.
    3. A child must be able to determine if the items are the same--as letters are always the same. So, matching games, same-different games. Grouping and forming sets.

    ...that is DAP for teaching letters to 3's.
     
  10. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    Aug 4, 2010

    I introduce a new nursery rhyme every two weeks (we meet only 3-days per week). We sing/chant it every day. After the second week, I write the name and put a little sticker/clip art/drawing representing that nursery rhyme up on a chart. After we do our new nursery rhyme, the leader of the day selects an old one to do. Since nursery rhymes are so short, it doesn't take long to do two.
     
  11. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    Aug 4, 2010

    I start off working on name recognition. I do this through games, songs, etc.

    If my group is ready, I do work on letter recognition. Last year I had 2 kids reading by the end of the year. This wasn't due to my instruction, they were just very interested. Their interest sparked the whole class and we did a lot with letters and sight words even. I structured lessons, games, etc so that all the children could succeed.

    I think it's possible to work on these skills and stay appropriate.
     
  12. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Aug 4, 2010

    Funny- We had an entire pre-k meeting dedicated to nursery rhymes. My co-teacher and I did do one a month last year (in the past I've had a song book and let the kids pick the song) but I guess they are going by the wayside.

    These rhymes and fingerplays associated with them have a ton of pre-lit skills attached to them!

    I'm going to try to make sure we do them again next year!
     
  13. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    Aug 4, 2010

    Blue - I think you misunderstood me. I am not into pushing academics on young children. I have a group of 3 year olds- some of which will be turning 4 as early as December. I would like to do a short, fun, morning activity that introduces them to the letters. I do not think this is inappropriate for this age. I am not proposing worksheets or drills. I was just looking for a song or short activity which would facilitate basic letter recognition. I have an entire center dedicated to writing and another dedicated to art so I do understand the importance of pre-writing skills, and I do know how matching, sorting etc. works to develop letter recognition as well.

    Max - I love it! That is exactly what I was looking for. It will also be a great thing to get my helper of the day (I only have one) to do. Thanks.
     
  14. K3 teacher

    K3 teacher Companion

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    Aug 4, 2010

    I am required to teach letters and I think I approach it in a very developmentally appropriate way. By the end of the year my kids should know 9 letters to be proficient but most of them know more than 20. We just play games do quick letter activities during circle ( I give everyone a magnetic letter and we have to find matches, or match them to some letters on the board, we might circle letters we know on the board, we always talk about the letters in everyones' names - those are definately the letters they know first along with B since we are the Busy Bees!)
     
  15. K3 teacher

    K3 teacher Companion

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    Aug 4, 2010

    Question of the Day:

    I usually start this in Oct. I have a chart with yes and no on it and clothespins with the kids names. I pick my kids up at the playground door so they come in, put their things away, put up their attendance bee and answer the question. It is always the same format: Do you like _________. Sometimes it is just a picture and sometimes the word is with it. I use pictures that go with our theme or a picture of a character from a book we read recently. In the fall I would use colored leaves, pumpkins, apples, etc. Sometimes if I am low on theme pics or characters I will use some enviormental print: labels from our snacks, ads for store or restaurants. The kids are always excited about what will be on the board.
     
  16. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2010

    k3, I love the Do you like (picture) idea. We used this before but I always just wrote the word and I told them what it was. This way they can read it themselves!

    I also would take picture of the kids, cut them out into squares, laminate them, and put magnets on the back. We used a white board easel to put up our question of the day. Not sure what I will have availabe for me to use this year. In March we started to do estimation and the kids loved it. i would put different theme ideas in a jar and they have to guess the number in the jar. i would help the kids write it, but I think this year I may have the magent numbers up there and they can put there picture next to it along with their own model of the number.
     
  17. K3 teacher

    K3 teacher Companion

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    Aug 5, 2010

    I always use a pic. and so after a couple of days, they can completely do it on their own. I either use clip art or pictures from the lakeshore phonics boxes. I forgot about the estimation jar! lots of fun!
     

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