Circle Time- special time for our kids

In Pick Me Academy, Circle Time is a very important activity, that refers to any time that a group of people are sitting together for an activity involving everyone.

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We use it because it…

* Is a special time

*Provides a time for listening, develops attention span, promotes oral communication and learning new concepts and skills.

*Teachers have the power to make group time more effective and enjoyable for all involved.

Organisation

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*Everybody faces each other without barriers

*A talking object can be used to facilitate discussion

*The teacher sits on the same type of seat/cushion as everybody else

*The teacher is a facilitator rather than a director

*Circle time has rules

*If children persistently break the rules, circle time stops

*Circle Time follows a clear structure over half an hour:

*Opening game: pulls the group together, provides a sense of fun and enjoyment, used to teach learning skills, moral values and codes of conduct

*Round Table: gives everybody a chance to speak. A speaking object such as a shell can be used to enable a focus on the speaker and indicate that all others must listen. It is this section of Circle Time where scripted sentences are often used. Examples might include: I find it easiest to work in class when…I get fed up when… I was pleased with myself when…

*Open Forum: an open, free discussion phase which can be used to discuss and solve problems and set targets

*Celebration of successes: a chance for pupils to thank others, both children and adults, for acts of kindness etc. during the past days

*Closing game: brings a sense of closure and bridges into the next part of the school day

TIPS AND TRICKS

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#1: Think of circle time as a way to foster a sense of community where everyone is a valued member.

#2: Make circle time an interactive experience by seeking out ways to keep your students actively involved in the circle time experience rather than passively sitting while you do all the talking. 

#3: Gather tools and materials for the children to physically touch and manipulate during circle time. Make circle time a hands-on-and-do experience rather than just a hands-in-your-lap experience.

#4: Keep circle time fun and engaging by adding movement into the mix of your experience. Focus on developing your own rich library of music and movement songs or action rhymes that you can pull out and use anytime you need to get the children up and moving.

#5: Be selective and purposeful in the books you choose to read aloud to your students during circle time. Spend time getting to know each book before reading it – you should have a good grasp on each page of the book and what approach you will take to reading the book well before you sit down to read it with your students.  

#6: Make the circle time story more meaningful by giving the children something they can touch and hold. Choose simple objects that will spark conversation and help the children draw connections between the story and real life.

#7: Keep preschoolers engaged in circle time by having different kinds of visuals that promote conversation and invite interaction.

#8: Be responsive to your students by being willing to modify your agenda to meet their needs and interests. 

#10:  Make sure that your approach to circle time and your handling of the children during circle time leads young children towards feeling confident in their knowledge and abilities.

Types of activities in Circle Time:

STORYTELLING ACTIVITIES
What else can you do after telling a story?

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You can make:

*UNICORN SENSORY WRITING TRAY

*MONSTER SLIME SENSORY WRITING TRAY

*DIY ALPHABET PEBBLES FOR LITERACY PLAY

*SIGHT WORD ACTIVITY: PIRATE DOUBLOONS TREASURE HUNT

*MATCHING ALPHABET BEANS LITERACY GAME

…and so much more!

ACTION GAMES (GROUP GAMES)

Games are interactive play that teach:

*goals

* rules

* adaptation

* problem solving

* interaction

… all represented as a story.

They satisfy our fundamental need to learn by providing enjoyment, passionate involvement, structure, motivation, ego gratification, adrenaline, creativity, social interaction and emotion in the game itself while the learning takes place.

*We can use action games like icebreakers, warm-ups, energizers, team games, name games anytime during our daily routine.

MATH MEANS FUN!

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People of all ages love to play games that are fun and motivating.

*Games give students opportunities to explore fundamental number concepts:

*counting sequence

* one-to-one correspondence

* and computation strategies.

*Engaging mathematical games can also encourage students to explore number combinations, place value, patterns, and other important mathematical concepts.

* Further, they afford opportunities for students to deepen their mathematical understanding and reasoning.

SENSORY PLAY

*Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates young chilren’s senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing.

*From the very first day they are born, children are designed to explore the world via their senses. That’s why babies and toddlers touch everything and put it in their mouths. It’s why kids make funny noises with their mouths and experiment with how the world sounds with their fingers stuck in their ears.

*Some people, when they think of sensory play, immediately picture sand and water tables or kids playing with clay and playdough. But sensory play isn’t all about touch, it’s also about the other senses, too.

*For instance, the sharp scent of vinegar involved in a science experiment or the colors of water during a color mixing experiment or the texture and smells of scratch and sniff painting are all part of appealing to a child’s senses.

Playing with different types of textures and tasting and objects help your child build new ways of talking about the world.

Suddenly the tree is more than a tree, it’s a sapling with smooth bark, or it’s a pine tree with rough bark and a sharp pine scent. Water isn’t just wet, it can be rough (waves) or slippery with bubbles or cold and translucent when frozen or clear and still.

Sensory Play Benefits:

*Helps Fine Motor Skills

*Builds nerve connections

*Aids in developing and enhancing memory

*Great for calming an anxious or frustrated child

Ideas:

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