Circle time in our classroom is a time that we use to bring all of us together into one group. Leading up to circle time, we are all working together, arriving, and putting our things away. When the lights turn off and we begin to sing our “clean up” song, the children know that it is time to join on our large rug. The children stop the work they may be doing, clean up their work and put it away before joining me where I sit waiting for them. As I wait, I model for them how we sit at circle. I have my legs crossed and I am quiet, normally sitting with my finger on my lip showing them that it is time to be silent.
We begin circle with a welcome song, saying “hello” to each friend. We also count how many friends we see sitting at circle with us, and then talk about which friends we may be missing that day. During circle we enjoy songs, books, and puppets. On days where I may have put a new work on the shelf, I give a presentation to the children so that they know how to use it properly. It also allows them to see the new work and know that it is now available for them.
In our circles, we also bring different traditions that our students may have in their families. We also introduce different languages to the children for them to use if wanted. As we sing and talk through the entire circle, the children are expanding their vocabularies with words they may not have known. We are also working on our math skills as we sing songs involving sequencing of numbers, counting the fingers on our hands, and 1:1 correspondence on small objects that may be used during circle.
The children leave circle by telling the teacher what work they are going to go do now, which helps lead them back into a wonderful work cycle.