Friday, February 17, 2012


Elements of a Successful Circle Time  
There are just five things to keep in mind when planning circle time:  
  1. Prepare for a consistent transition into and out of circle time. Repetition of a simple song, movement, action, guessing game, activity, or icebreaker to signal the start and end of circle time helps children learn the basics with greater ease. Tape a circle on the floor, create a circle of carpet squares to sit on, or place names around the circle so each child knows where to go. 
  2. Length of time and group size should be appropriate: Toddlers should only have five to 10 minutes of circle time; preschoolers can participate for 10 to 15 minutes. For best results, the group size should not exceed 20 children.    
  3. Use a variety of techniques to hang on to children’s attention. These techniques include humor, suspense, varying the tone and volume of your voice as you read and speak, including children in the story or an activity as much as possible, and choosing topics that are of interest to young children. 
  4. Choose a wide variety of topics, themes, books, songs, activities, games, experiments, movement, fingerplays, and props that are appropriate for the children’s age and stage of development. Over the course of a week or month, plan to touch on each area of development so children have the opportunity to learn new skills, practice developing skills, and learn more about the world they live in.
  5. Be prepared with a back-up plan. If a story, song, or activity is not of interest to the children, have another in mind to save the day. 
Thank you to our BRIGHTON SCHOOL for all of the wonderful circle times that I observed this week! 

Using Props:

Pointer props!  Here Alicia uses "Senor Palo" as a pointing stick, while involving the children.
Here's another idea that Maru uses: "El Dedito" (I saw Diadys use this in the South End too!)

Involving the kids! An excellent way for the kids to practice writing is by having the children take turns writing the number on the calender with dry erase markers!

Puppets!!!  "Titeres" are a great way to do role play, storytelling, and bringing songs to life with the children

Using Dolls are another great prop for circle time...oh wait a minute...that's a real baby! Had to put  a smiling Acadia in there who helped with circle time a minute! :-)

Using a microphone to get the children's attention!  Here is Patricia using a karaoke machine!  The kids also get to sing in the mic too!

Felt Board Songs and Stories!  Using visual aids can help catch the attention of these budding bilinguals!  Here's a short video clip of Pati in action!

Using funny glasses as an attention getter!  I think almost every school has seen my collection of novelty glasses!  You can try it too!

 Pom Poms to move and dance with!  These were purchased at the Dollar Tree. 

Costumes!!  Dressing Up in various costumes to bring the story alive will always catch the children's attention!  Here is Alicia as a "murcielago" while reading a Bat book. 

Instruments!!  Alicia taught herself to play a few chords on this little guitar to sing her "Es Hora del Circulo" song! 

Patricia played the DRUMS teaching the children rhythm!

I look forward to continuing to visit the schools and seeing more circle time ideas to share!! 

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