Many of us start our teaching day with circle time, morning message...it goes by many names. We do the calendar, count the days we have been in school, talk about a letter of the day, and so on. But we can also use this time to help our young learners share more about themselves. This can be an important time to develop verbal skills and to encourage children to care for one another.
You can begin by asking children to show how they are feeling that day. Have children go around the circle and say their name and then hold up 1 finger if they are feeling good, 2 for feeling okay, and 3 if there is a problem. This will give you a quick idea of what each child is bringing to you that day. Saying names helps children learn to speak in front of their peers. It also is a wonderful way to practice taking turns. You may want to encourage children to help those who are feeling sad, etc. and/or you can speak to those children individually later.
This can be expanded as the days progress. Ask children to share what they had for breakfast, what they read yesterday, or how they got to school. This will not only give you a good opportunity to learn more about your children, but it will give them a chance to talk in front of a group and wait their turn.
This is a good chance to include all, especially newcomers, in your classroom routine. Some children may begin by repeating what another child shared. That is fine as it gives them a voice. Using hand signals is also a wonderful way to include everyone. You can even ask children to share using their language of comfort. This way you are valuing what everyone brings to the class.
NAEYC - 2.B. & 2.D.
Head Start - II.A., B., & D., VIII.A. & B.
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