Circle Time Activities

Oral language – Children learn to feel comfortable talking in a group and expressing their thoughts and opinions.  They also learn to listen to their classmates and respect their ideas.

Literacy skills – Alphabet songs, phonological awareness activities, choral reading, nursery rhymes, finger plays, daily message, and classroom print can be highlighted at circle time.

Math concepts – Talking about the calendar, counting the friends present, comparing sizes, or discussing shapes can be a meaningful part of circle time.

Executive function – As children learn to sit quietly and participate in a group they are developing self-regulation.  There is also a beginning and an end to the routine.

Classroom management – This is a time when the teacher can reinforce simple skills, explain classroom activities, review the daily schedule, and model expectations.

Social skills – Learning to take turns and listen to classmates is expected in circle time.  As children sing songs together or say rhymes or finger plays they can have fun with their friends.  It’s also a time when you can brainstorm classroom problems – tattling, hurting someone’s feelings, pushing in line, etc.

Emotional skills – In circle time children can be accepted and valued for their individuality.  Recognizing that we are all different - and that’s O.K. - is a primary goal.

Physical skills – Dances and movement songs release wiggles and oxygenate the brain.  Cross-lateral activities activate the brain and get it ready to learn.

Science Social Studies – Talking about the weather, the leaves changing colors, the different ways families celebrate, classroom pets, and real events in the children’s world are meaningful topics at circle time.  Specific themes and units of study can also be integrated into this large group time.

Love a Book - Circle time can be used for book walks, talks, themes, and bibliotherapy.  Teachers can be sales people “selling” children on reading and books.

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