If you have ever watched the educational television show, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, then you will know understand what inspires our Circle Time!
At 9:30am we gather to sit as a group. Circle Time, in general terms, consists of individual sharing, a preview of our topic, a story or activity with group conversation or interaction, and then reviewing our calendar before we finish with music and performance. All of the aforementioned activities are approximately 30-minutes in total, but we are only sitting for approximately 15-20 minutes of that time.
After everyone has a chance to share something with the group, I begin with casual conversation about an experience or thing relative to our current monthly or weekly theme (per our curriculum) to preview our topic. This is collaborative between the children and I, as we have an open discussion where we all can share our feelings, questions, or ideas about it. The topic is explored further by showing pictures or videos or having a demonstration / exhibit. For example, in week two of April’s theme of “Life on the Farm”, we learn about eggs. I may have a selection of different types of eggs or birds’ nests to look at.
Like in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, where Trolley goes to the land of Make-Believe, we then have a story (either fiction or non-fiction) that is connected to our theme. If the month’s topic is about ‘jobs’, I would read Richard Scarry’s What do People Do All Day? I leave plenty of time after the story for questions and discussion.
We finish our time seated by getting up to complete our calendar activities in a variety of ways to count and to practice patterns with quantity (based on how many days have elapsed). For example, if it is the fourth of April, we might hop four times like a bunny after counting to four as a group. Then we would complete our pattern, placing a fourth bead or item in the proper sequence (based on color, shape, and/or size).
Lastly is Music and Performance. Please see the specific page for information on that subject.