Circle time, morning meeting, calendar, morning message, carpet time, whatever you choose to call it in your classroom or home…it is one of the most important times of the day for learning with your little ones. Are you making the most of it?
If your learners are sitting on the carpet for 30 minutes…probably not. If you are not preparing ahead of time…no way. If you are not incorporating math, literacy and even science skills…there is definitely some room for improvement!
I use this time of day in my classroom to welcome students, discuss any special events on our calendar and explain our learning goals for the day. There is a lot of singing, it is not too long and includes a lot of intentional learning. I try to focus on one literacy and one math skill during our circle time or morning meeting that will take only a couple minutes each day.
Today, I want to talk about how I make the most of circle time by using literacy charts in my classroom. The literacy charts that I use currently focus on alphabet knowledge, syllables, rhyming, sentence segmentation and sight words…one for each day of the week!
During our circle time, the learners are engaged and actively participating and these literacy charts are simply an extension of that. A student helper comes and completes the chart with the help of their peers. Each chart only takes a couple minutes, so let’s look at each chart and how it is used.
This literacy chart teaches initial sound, letter identification and letter formation. Have the learners choose the correct cards to go on the chart and write the letter correctly on the lines while the other students “sky-write”.
This is a favorite of the kiddos because we get active! The student helper chooses a picture and they get to pick 3-4 ways to count the syllables in the word (stomp, jump, clap, arm flapping, etc.). It is pretty amazing how creative they get. Then we get our hands up and count the syllables out.
Rhyming is one that we play around with a lot! Usually we start with 3 cards and have the students pick the 2 that rhyme. As the students get better we come up with more rhyming words, write the rhyming words or look for word patterns.
This is actually the skill that gave me the idea for literacy charts. I had the hardest time teaching sentence segmentation in the classroom other than during writer’s workshop. So, I created a chart that has a simple sentence and an appropriate picture to match. We read the sentence together and complete the missing information together.
This chart is great to introduce new sight words or to review old sight words that your class might need a little more practice with. You can introduce the word, teach the song and match the letters to create the word. Helpful Hint: Use a full strip of Velcro on the spelling section instead of Velcro dots.
Do you implement something similar during your circle time already? Please share what your circle time looks like below!