preschool circle time

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by dmc1lmc2, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. dmc1lmc2

    dmc1lmc2 New Member

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    Dec 12, 2007

    Hi! I am new to this site and excited to discuss and share ideas. I run a private preschool in town. I am very happy with my program however I am not sure about morning circle time. With my 4 and 5 year old class we say goodmorning, riddle of the day, song helper, calendar, weather, review letter of the day and then end with a quick activity (ex. feel box, show pictures of the season---relates to our themes). I feel that I lose the childrens attention. I read all these books on how circle time should be so much fun but this is my second year and I find the children are uninterested about 3 minutes into it. I do believe children have a hard time sitting and definately anticipate the hands on activites but they need to learn to sit as a group and listen to others and take turns. Could you please help me out with circle time routine. Is this common with young children? How is calendar and weather done? What activites do you do at circle time? Thanks Lisa
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Dec 12, 2007

    I have 3's and right now any individual circle is fairly short, we just do several of them throughout the day... typically our first one is helpers, calendar, weather... then after snack we'll do another one focusing on letter/theme,etc... usually involving a story, making a list as a class, etc.

    Sometimes when I really feel I'm losing focus, I'll have them do something really quickly that involves movement... if we're doing the calendar, I might have everyone stand up and jump 12 (or whatever today's date is) times... or I'll count to 5 and until I get there, they wiggle as much as they can... it's a game to still listen so that they STOP when I stop.

    I'm finding that my circle time is definitely longer now than it was earlier in the year... I also have SUCH a wide range of ages (11 months between my oldest and my youngest) that some of them are still losing interest even when it's short, while some of them would be perfectly happy with an even longer one.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Dec 13, 2007

    Don't have any advice, just wanted to say hi and welcome!
     
  5. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Dec 13, 2007

    Hey dmc1lmc2...

    I'm going to move this posting to the preschool forum where it's better suited :)
     
  6. dmc1lmc2

    dmc1lmc2 New Member

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    Dec 14, 2007

    Thanks Clarnet for your advice and moving my article. I am new to the site and need to figure out how things are done! I would like to say Hi! to everyone as well! Lisa
     
  7. tm91784

    tm91784 Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2007

    Don't worry. This is very typical for that age group. Just try to keep it as active as possible; they have lots of energy and need an outlet. Maybe try breaking it up into several very short circle times.
     
  8. rasberri

    rasberri Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2007

    How long!??!

    All of your activities sound great, hover I am curious to know how 'long' your circle time is if your doing all of these activities. I work 3, 4 & 5s and I find that each day the circle time has to be according to the mood of the children and their attention span for that moment. The only two things I do do every day is the calender and the weather. Then if the group appears ready for a longer time I will throw in an activity related to the weeks focus. Also like Clarnet, I will get my group up and moving if they are not interested in the 'sitting' activity.

    My circle can go any where from 5-10 minutes.


    rasberri*
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Dec 15, 2007

    I wanted to add that you might want to make circle time active if you aren't already. Dr. Jean has some great calendar songs that have movements/dances to them that can help younger classes stay focused and engaged or you can make things up or add fingerplays to calendar time.
     
  10. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    Dec 17, 2007

    I have circle time at multiple times throughout the day. They last anywhere from 10-20 mins. I have ages 3-6 in my room. My first circle time is always calendar, and that usually goes for 10 mins. I have really shortened it down. We do attendance. I have name cards and we see who is here or gone. Then we read the morning message. I have the kids do it now, I pick sticks and have 3 kids read it at different times. Before I always read it, but the kids have it memorized. Then we sing our good morning song in english and spanish (just started the spanish because my higher functioning kids wanted it). THen we count how many days we are at on the calendar. Sing the weather song. Put the outfits up for today is, tomorrow will be and yesterday was...Sing that song. Sing the days of the week song.
     
  11. Moalem

    Moalem Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2007

    i taught preschool for a year and a half. my advice is to have two circles but keep each around 5-7 minutes long. it's very hard to hold their attention for as long as you would expect to have everything you mentioned done. you can always go over the weather or talk about some of the other stuff while they're eating snack. that way they're already sitting down and you can avoid having to make another transition.
     
  12. ecross1983

    ecross1983 Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2008

    It is very difficult for younger kids to sit that long. I think they may be trying to pull your leg though! If they are 4-5 years old....they should definitely be able to sit for more than 3 minutes! My toddlers can sit longer for circle time than that!!!

    But I do agree with having more than one circle time a day for shorter periods. Limit it to 5-10 minutes at most, maybe like 3 times a day. It's a must with my toddler babies.
     
  13. ecross1983

    ecross1983 Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2008

    Another thing try doing different things during your circle time. Not just the same repetative thing every day.
     
  14. imat

    imat Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I think circle time is an important part of the day. To survive circle you have to remember to have fun. If your not having fun then the children are not having fun and they will not get anything out of your circle. To keep kids attention you might want to think of investing in some circle time props. Fun hats, glasses or other items that will go along with a book and bring the story alive. Props help to keep the attention of young ones. Remember your on stage and no one is watching but your 3 and 4 year olds and the silly you are the more they will like it.:p

    Tami
    Kids World Exploration.com
     
  15. CeeCee

    CeeCee Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I am using a lot of songs this year to keep them focused. For example, when we do the weather or say who the helper is, there is a song for each of these things. HTH
     
  16. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    Jan 22, 2008

    Ditto from me on the short circle time. Also, one of my teachers does sharing time on Fridays during circle time. Children may bring something that goes along with the weeks theme. No toys are allowed. Pictures, fall leaves, a souvenirs from a trip etc.
     
  17. MimiBee

    MimiBee Companion

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    Jan 24, 2008

    We do three circle times a day with our 3, 4, and 5's. The first is in the morning and consists of our question of the day, calendar, weather and letter of the week. Right before lunch, we do our second group time during which we learn about our theme for the week and read a story or two. This way, our kids go right from the rug to handwashing and lunch. After lunch, we have our last, short rugtime for music. It's here we sing our goodbye song and bus children then go from rug to lockers while transport children look at books or do some other quiet activity.

    Depending on the attentiveness of the children, we may do songs and movement during any or all of the circle times. I also will pause rugtime to do a movement activity if the natives are getting restless.
     
  18. Emmyer98

    Emmyer98 Rookie

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    Jan 25, 2008

    I have a very active class of 4s and 5s. They have a very difficult time listening during large group instruction such as circle time. Honestly I was getting fed up with circle time. Yesturday I mixed it up a little bit. I had my puppet "Boris the Cleanasaurus" do the calendar. I had all the children's attention.

    When I had the children count the days they did jumping jacks and toe touches while we counted. First we counted in English. Then in Spanish. :D It worked so well.
     
  19. memeskids

    memeskids Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2008

    I also have a difficult time with my children at circle. I have 3-4 year olds. Who is Dr. Jean and where do I contact her for info on her calendar songs.
     
  20. ecross1983

    ecross1983 Rookie

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  21. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Apr 5, 2008

    Welcome!

    I have the same question. How long is your circle time? I have a class of 4-5 year olds. We are a feeder to a pretty academic Kindergarten program. My circle time is 30 minutes now. At the beginning of the year it was only 15- that was as long as the kids could sit.

    We look at class jobs, say a prayer, pledge of allegiance, news of the day and weather song and get a report from the weather helper. Our song helper selects a song which is usually an active one. After that we read a story and look do some phonics. I do some group instruction for the small group activities. I can't skip any of those activities or they will remind me!

    At the beginning of the year, the book was short and phonics and whole group instruction minimal.

    I would decrease your circle time and add more movement activities, then build up.
     
  22. memeskids

    memeskids Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2008

    ecross1983, thank you for Dr. Jean's website.
     
  23. edukidds

    edukidds Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2008

    circle time

    I teach Head Start to children ages 3-5. It is a challenge to keep them interested. My students do pretty well; I have them moving all of the time. My circle time consists of: the pledge, good morning song (movement), calendar (kids help), days of the week song (movement), weather (movement), morning message (kids help), initial letter sound picture matching game (kids help), and letter poem of the week (kids help). The kids are moving or involved with all activities. I think that helps them to stay focused; to be actively involved in circle time. :up:
     
  24. tracer330

    tracer330 Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2008

    it does help to have more than one circle; some ideas: one for welcome and calendar activities; one for theme related discussions; one for letters and one for numbers; i used this method when i had older 3's/younger 4's; after each circle we did an activity that related to what we talked about in circle
     

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