Circle time activities are powerful tools! We all want our children to succeed. Emotional development is an important key to educational success. In the classroom, one way to have a positive effect on a child's emotional well being is to use circle time. This has been implemented in schools in different countries around the world, with many positive results. Teachers and parents are excited about the potential that using circle time in the classroom is bringing out in their young ones. What are some strategies teachers can use to make circle time a useful tool in developing their students' emotional well being? Lets take a look at a few.
One strategy involves understanding the teacher's role during circle time. Rather than managing each child's actions and who is doing what and who isn't, it may be more advantageous to take another approach. To foster a creative and open atmosphere, a teacher should oversee, make corrections and inquiries, add a learning point and introduce new concepts. Some have found that appointing a helper can help develop a sense of responsibility.
Set a Schedule. It is important to prepare a head of time an age appropriate agenda. Take into account the attention span of your students. For very young children 10-15 minutes per activity may be enough to keep their interest without having them get bored. Watch them carefully and if you notice any start to lose interest, wrap up the activity and start something new. Another point that may be useful is to alternate quiet activities with active ones. A good schedule will maximize your circle time and keep everyone interested.
Circle-time activities should help young ones feel like a valued member of the group. To do this, each child should have a chance to speak. This helps improve communication and confidence. If time is set aside for each one to take a turn and speak, the one who is speaking should be given an item to hold. The item then can be passed on to the next child. This helps teach respect and shows that the input of others is important. Themes on which students can talk about can vary, depending on which themes or events or subjects prove relevant. Again, good preparation is helpful here too. You may even ask for suggestions from the students about talking points.
Group circles in the classroom are often a fun and interesting experience, not only for the children but also for the teachers. By using some of the strategies listed above, emotional development can be enhanced. This makes for respectful, generous and expressive young ones.