Creating a Preschool Circle Time
Where should your circle time be?
Find a spot in your room that has enough room for all of your students to gather. We have a stool for each child to sit on, but mats work, too. (In the past we’ve used vinyl place mats.)
How long should your circle time be?
We start our year with a short circle time, just long enough for a good morning song and a short story. We eventually add the weather and, once a week, sharing. Depending on how focused the preschoolers are on that particular day, we average around 10 minutes for our circle time.
What if you cannot get them to pay attention?
One important lesson I’ve learned with circle time is that if you have lost their attention, it’s okay to end it early. I’ve even stopped reading a book when it’s apparent they would rather be moving around or talking to each other. It’s okay. This is when we get up and dance to our collection of active music. Karen from Pre-Kinders uses props with her music. Songs for Teaching is a great resource for circle time songs.
What are the do’s and don’ts of reading aloud?
Start with simple books and gradually introduce books with more words. Deborah from Teach Preschool has a wonderful post that shares what works and what doesn’t work when reading aloud to preschoolers.
What activities are appropriate for 3 year olds?
Each day we have a class helper. That child looks out the window and reports the weather. Once a week we have a sharing person who passes around 1 item for everyone to touch. We will also do group learning activities. We save calendar time for the following year when the children are 4 and 5. Early Childhood News has some simple games you could try during your circle time.
More circle time resources the new preschool teacher will appreciate:
How to Save Circle Time (No Time for Flashcards)
Ten Tips for Circle Time (Teach Preschool)
Circle Time Activities (Child Care Lounge)
Circle Time 101 (Preschool Inspirations)