Friday, November 1, 2013

Creating a School Family: Organizing Circle Time

Drum roll please....I promised you that there were some exciting new things coming to the blog soon and here we are!  We are kicking it off this month with a new theme!  The theme will help us focus on particular skills and activities that are related to the time of year and fit nicely into your classroom or home. 

When I was a classroom teacher, I used to spend a lot of time in the month of November focusing on Families.  We enjoyed many stories, activities, and traditions all connected to this theme.  So, you can expect to find many posts this month based on the theme of Family.  I will also be including topics such as classroom structure, circle time, folk tales, helpfulness, gratitude, sharing, making connections and much much more!

I have the pleasure of working with many amazing and talented classroom teachers.  The idea I'm sharing today came from one of my good friends.  She is a general education Kindergarten Teacher who teaches in an inclusive setting, so she has many children with special needs in her classroom as well.

Sometimes her students struggle to get organized when they are transitioning to circle time and finding a spot to sit.  Sometimes children are allowed sit "Free Choice" style and at other times they are expected to sit on the "Parameter".  By simply adding a visual on her board that she can flip to indicate her expectations, her difficulties disappeared!  She took two photos of her class sitting on the rug.  One was of them sitting "Free Choice" style and the other was them sitting on the "Parameter".  She added some words, glued it to colored paper, laminated it and added a little ring to hang it from and viola!  Problem solved!

Here is a close up photo so you can see more details! 

What kind of visuals can you add to help organize your children?  Do you need some pictures at the table to help them know how to sit?  How about in the bathroom?  Do they need a visual reminder to wash their hands?  Young children are so visual!  If you are having trouble organizing certain times of your day, try adding a picture of what you want it to look like!  It's like a to do list for kids!