Circle time in the Henrietta preschool classrooms is an important start to every day! During this time, the children pick their jobs, review the calendar, discuss the weather, talk about letters, listen to a story, and finish by singing and dancing!
Asking children to choose their job for the day provides a level of independence. It also makes each child responsible for the job they chose, which includes: teacher helper, fish feeder, calendar helper, line leader, caboose, plant caretaker, story selector, song chooser, snack helper, lunch helper, weather watcher, and sweeper helper. Each of these jobs is available every day and the children readily remind each other if anyone forgets!
During calendar review. the helper assists in determining the correct date, singing the days of the week and months of the year songs, and identifying the season. Repetition and pattern identification are emphasized. The weather watcher looks out the window and describes what he/she sees to the class.
During letter time, the class sings the ABC song while the teacher points to each letter. This gives the children an opportunity to recognize and say each letter at the same time. Then the class practices spelling and identifying one child’s name so they begin to identify the letters that make up each friend’s name.
The story selector then chooses a story that is read by the teacher. Questions are asked about the story as it is read, such as “how is the person feeling on this page?” Children are able to perceive quite a bit at this young age!
Lastly, the song chooser selects the last song to sing. Circle time songs always have some kind of movement associated with them. They may choose to jump up and down or simply move with their hands.
All this circle time activity only lasts about 20 minutes because attention spans are short at 3! But movement during this time is encouraged and even helps young bodies and minds to learn!