GET UNPLUGGED  - Circle time should be a natural time when you look the children in their eyes and give them 100% of your attention. Let this be an AUTHENTIC time when it’s just YOU and the CHILDREN!  Be in the moment!

Harvest These Ideas - Each class is different and unique.  Get to know your kids and adapt activities to stimulate them and create interest.

Intentional Teaching – What’s the point?  Think of your goals and objectives and then make a plan.  What age do you teach?  What is their skill level? 

Balance – Integrate activities where children sit and then let them stand and wiggle.  Sometimes they need to be quiet and listen, and sometimes they can be encouraged to talk.

Hands-on – Try to provide multi-sensory experiences to activate different pathways to the brain.  Finger plays, movement songs, handshakes, and real objects will engage children more than watching a video.

Vary the stimulus – Yes, you want to have a basic routine to give children security and help them feel comfortable, but you need a little spark each day to keep them focused and curious.

Model, Model, Model!  Children learn more from your actions than your words.  Model sitting quietly, listening attentively when a child is talking, being enthusiastic with your facial expressions, and making the motions for the songs and finger plays.

Quit while you are ahead!  Don’t make circle time too long!  Start with 10-15 minutes and then extend it as the year goes along.  They will let you know by their body language when they’ve had enough!

Routine - Follow a basic schedule each day that might include the following:

            Good Morning Song
            Morning Message/Rhyme or Read Aloud
            Calendar and Weather
Pledge & Rules
Active Learning with Skill Songs
Concept Lesson – Theme

You might also want to highlight a different area of the curriculum each day of the week.

Marvelous Monday – Teach a new nursery rhyme or finger play.  Practice it each day at circle time.

Terrific Tuesday – What’s in the news?  Introduce social studies concepts of interest to the children.  Discuss friendship and showing kindness.  Brainstorm what to do about classroom behavior issues.

Wonderful Wednesday – Focus on oral language with show and tell, echo chants, and phonological awareness games.

Thrilling Thursday – There’s always something interesting outside your classroom door that your children will be interested in.  Each season brings new experiences and objects to observe.

Fabulous Friday – Just for fun!  Play a silly game, have a dress up day (silly socks, shirt of favorite sports team, etc.), be DJ and play favorite songs, and so forth.



I hope you’ll visit my blog (drjeanandfriends.blogspot.com) every day during the month of June.  Better yet, put your email address on my blog and I’ll send you an idea every day. Pick, choose, adapt, change, delete – they are free and they are yours to do as you will.  My hope is that you’ll be a little more excited to start the new school year and have some fun as you make plans for your best year ever!




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