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Effective Circle Time

                    Avoid Dead Time

Do not wait for all the children to arrive before beginning an activity or song. Begin the activity with the first few arrivals, incorporating the new children into the activity as they arrive. Having the children focused on an activity will prevent restlessness while waiting for all the children to arrive.

Keep It Moving

A child’s attention span is brief, especially in a group setting. A stale environment will generate restlessness and boredom. Include movement in their schedule – standing, marching, singing, clapping. Incorporate quiet time and engaging activities.

Accommodate The Moment

Although you have your schedule planned, be aware of the children’s interests and questions and be willing to be flexible to accommodate their curiosity.

Have A Back- Up Plan

You will occassionally have time left over after all of your planned activities. Always have a back-up activity – repeating an activity or song that was previously successful, or games or stories they openly enjoy.

Encourage Good Behavior

Recognize the good behavior exhibited by your children. The disruptive children usually receive the most attention, so it is important to praise children for their good behavior. Are they obedient, respectful, helpful? They should know you appreciate these qualities.

Establish Guidelines For Participation

A large group – more than six children – can become chaotic if guidelines are not established. Even eager participation needs to be controlled. Develop signals to use when they respond to your questions – such as raising their hands. Create organization by instructing them on how they should put away their toys and games. Children want and need guidelines. We all function better in a peaceful, organized environment.

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