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Old 06-22-2007, 05:55 AM
forkids's Avatar
forkids forkids is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 519
Pre-K morning meeting/circle time

Pre-K teachers, I'm interested in what everyone does for morning circle time. I want to jazz mine up a bit - I'm getting bored with it. I do the following:
attendance chart
daily pattern
counting activities
music and movement activity
moring message
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:30 PM
Pre-K Teacher 1's Avatar
Pre-K Teacher 1 Pre-K Teacher 1 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 383
Is there something you can eliminate if the children are bored and incorporate at some other time during the day? For example I don't do weather, counting, patterning, or attendance chart at my morning circle. These are things that are done at other times during the day. This coming school year I am going to concentrate on the morning message and incorporate a lot of the ideas that Vanna/TX has on her page. I do music and movement at various times of the day. I try to keep my morning meeting time somewhat consistent but steer clear of making it too routine. I like to mix it up and keep it exciting! I think there are some activities that you can start with at the beginning of the year and then eliminate or update/upgrade them. Does that make sense?.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:19 PM
Master Pre-K Master Pre-K is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,561
Preschool Teacher
Fruit Basket Upset

Are you restricted by rules of posting/using letters, numbers, colors, shapes in your program? If not, put those lovely things up on your walls, and start calling on children to identify them!

Have you tried the "Hello and how are you song." ?? It is a nice way to give everyone a chance to talk. Fridays can be used for show and tell, gives everyone a chance to bring in toys they've been sneaking in all week.

Do you have breakfast or morning snack in your program? If not, maybe you all need a little energy break, and you can have them bring in a small treat to have around 9:30-10:00 am. I know that's when my blood sugar drops!

If your site does not approve this, you can put it into your lesson plan by making a food experience/cooking activity...and you bring a snack! Ants on a log...(oh scratch that...peanut butter scare!) But you can bring lemons and make lemonade. Cheese and tortillas and make quesadillas. Popcorn in a air popper machine. etc. etc. Check emergency files for food allergies!!

Why don't you trying flipping the script and go outside first! If no set schedule (or other class) is stopping you! Take your posters outdoors, or use what you see, explore the play yard, and use your imagination. "I spy someone wearing the color of the slide" Or, you could have a neighborhood walk, and take gloves and a bag for safe treasures to bring back. Leaves, rocks, a cicada in a jar. You know I am sooo tired of those noisy things!

Do you have a local librarian who can have story time in your class? Invite her to come one morning a week, to give you a little break, and change the routine. Or, make a field trip down to visit the library as soon as attendance is taken, and have story time there.

Hope this helps.

Master Pre-K
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:42 PM
chicagoturtle chicagoturtle is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,972
There is a lot of talk these days about how irrelevant the calendar really is at Pre-K. I really hope that whereever I am next year we don't do it or it isn't as big of a deal.

We had a speaker this year ask us if you ask the kids what day it is at hte end of the day and most of them don't know then what have they learned from Calendar?

There are other more authentic ways to do many of these games.

It is much easier for them to learn this skill in a day or two when they are six then when they are three. That is the argument.

Take it for what it's worth.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:46 PM
Master Pre-K Master Pre-K is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,561
Preschool Teacher
are you still looking

Didn't know you were out of a job ChicagoTurtle

Can I offer any advice??
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:00 PM
Alitig1 Alitig1 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 33
Calendar time

I agree with you that kids do not get days of the week, because we sang the 7 days of the week song every day and at the end of the year no one could tell me how many days were in a week! I was just deflated, and we worked on it that day until someone could say the word seven when I asked how many days!

But I use the calendar for my pattering activity, counting, and compliance with directions in my special ed pre-k class. So I will be keeping it, but changing the way I do days of the week to the way the teacher next door does it, a simple song

Today is Friday (student chant Today is Friday)
June 22, (students June 22)
2007 (student chant 2007)
All day long (student all day long)

And at the end of the day we will end with a song that says "We'll see you all on MOnday (or whatever day it is)

I have tried moving a car and train and book through the days of the week and we won't do that again next year.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:04 PM
Master Pre-K Master Pre-K is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,561
Preschool Teacher
Try it in spanish! I know Greg and Steve have great CDs and I think Dora does too.

Barney has one also.
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:36 PM
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clarnet73 clarnet73 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,126
Preschool Teacher
The FAVORITE thing my 3 and 4-yr olds do in our circle time is being the counter. The counter has to count how many kids are in the room, then they write that number on our dry erase board... so we can talk about "how do you make 18? oh, a 1 and an 8" or whatever the number is. Then they write their name underneath (of course we help as needed, but by this point very few of them need help at all!)... and we'll call on classmates to ID or find a particular letter, are there any letters that are the SAME? can you spell Isabella's name? Let's count how many letters are in her name... can you show me that many fingers? We don't ask the same questions every day, but try to mix it up (and a great way to differentiate for kids at different levels!). For some reason, this is the favorite part!

It makes that counting and letter recognition meaningful when it's someone's name!
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:55 PM
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OtterMom OtterMom is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 403
ESL Kindergarten
I teach Kinder, and I think appointing a Counter is an awesome idea. You could have your counter count things like the cookies for the snacks, the number of manipulatives you need, the books in the reading center....

I'm going to add the job of "Daily Counter" to my job chart.

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Old 06-23-2007, 08:15 AM
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vannapk vannapk is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,301
Originally Posted by forkids
Pre-K teachers, I'm interested in what everyone does for morning circle time. I want to jazz mine up a bit
I'm all about jazzing things up I actually have a workshop that I present on this topic. Some things I have done to spice things up are:

Add cheers - we use actual pom-pom's and cheer things like the first letter of our leader's name and all sorts of other things- the kids get to hold the pom-pom's- the leader picks one friend to hold the second one.

Add lots of music- we have a daily good morning song, then a days of the week song, and a months of the year song. For the good morning song I hold our class mascot (Build a Bear dressed in school uniform) and pretend he is singing along I created fun power-points to go along with the days of the week and months of the year songs so they really get excited about seeing those each day, the powerpoints have lots of animation and move quickly. We also do daily "skill songs"- songs that teach a colors and shapes (I like the Frog Street Press songs for these) I try to add movement into the skill songs as much as possible to get them up and wiggling.

Add Props - I use cheap, plastic microphones from dollar store to take daily polls. For example, during morning message time Danielle says "I like pizza", afterwards I will ask one child if they like pizza and they have to answer in a complete sentence and then ask the next person and so forth. It helps their oral language skills and helps them understand the concept of "ask" and "answer". Some other props we use are capes for the "King and Queen of writing". Each day after journals I select one King of Writing and one Queen of Writing and they get to wear the capes (found on ebay). I also use cheap Magic Wands from the Dollar Store to spice things up, the kind that makes noise when you wave them. The Leader can point to the days of the week, or the letters in his name, or read the morning message with the wand and then wave it when he's finished- it's a big motivator.

Add daily Nursery Rhyme I incorporate a daily nursery rhyme into our morning circle routine. I like to use Jack Hartmann's Rhymin to the Beat CD or Dr. Jean's Teaching Tunes Nursery Rhymes CD. I have created a special dance for each of the Jack Hartmann songs so they love, love, love to dance to the Jack Hartmann Nursery Rhyme songs. I have a whole sequence/routine that I use when teaching the Nursery Rhymes- you can read all about it here:
Vanna's Nursery Rhyme page

Our public school district mandates the use of daily calendar, we use Everyday in Pre-K for our calendar curriculum. I agree with others, you can't expect mastery of calendar in Pre-K, but our calendar curriculum is about math concepts and not about mastery of days of the week. You can see pics of our calendar and other components of our circle time at this link: Vanna's circle time

I'll try to include a link to our class mascot below- hope it works:
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