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  #1  
Old 08-03-2010, 07:24 PM
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SamIAm SamIAm is offline
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Your circle time for 3 year olds??

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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  #2  
Old 08-03-2010, 08:03 PM
K3 teacher K3 teacher is offline
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Pennsylvania
Preschool Teacher
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
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2010, 08:14 PM
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brejohnson88 brejohnson88 is offline
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Illinois
Early Childhood Teacher
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.
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:37 PM
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I think you circle time sounds perfect. Not too much, no calendar, and is developmentally appropriate.
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2010, 05:06 AM
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tracykaliski tracykaliski is offline
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A little off center
Montessori & Orton Gillingham tutor
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.
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2010, 09:35 AM
Maxadoodle Maxadoodle is offline
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Illinois
Preschool Teacher
I include a nursery rhyme in my circle time.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2010, 01:23 PM
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SamIAm SamIAm is offline
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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.
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2010, 01:47 PM
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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.
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  #9  
Old 08-04-2010, 05:34 PM
Maxadoodle Maxadoodle is offline
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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.
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2010, 06:27 PM
Miller59 Miller59 is offline
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WV
Preschool Teacher
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.
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