We have circle time every morning. In other posts like Telling Stories and Show & Tell I’ve covered some additional aspects of our circle time but we regularly do a calendar activity followed by poems. I designed a calendar template that can be modified for each month allowing to opportunity to include all our special events.
Every month I print six copies of the calendar and place them in sheet protectors. At circle time each child is given a copy of the calendar so they can follow along and they are encouraged to add personal information to the conversations.
Alphabet tapes have been placed along the bottom of the sheet protectors – A to M on the calendar side and N to Z on the poem side. As we recite the alphabet together we include a word beginning with each letter and the names of anyone in the house as well – A for apple, B for Ball, C for car and Cheryl and Curtis, D for duck and Dylan and so on.
The current poems are placed on the reverse side of the calendar. I choose the poems based on the season or other interests of the children. Sometimes the children learn them quickly and then get bored. Occasionally they don’t connect with the poem and loose interest in participating in circle time. I usually change the poems several times each month so this doesn’t happen. I also like to include pictures alongside the poems and at least one of the selected poems will have actions.
It was about seven or eight years ago that I first used the Tommy Thumb poem for circle time. It was one of the favourite finger plays for that group of children and they continued to recite it throughout the days long after new poems were introduced.
Tommy Thumbs up (Point thumbs up)
Tommy Thumbs down (Point thumbs down)
Tommy Thumbs dancing (Bounce them to the left)
All around the town (Bounce them to the right)
Dance them on your shoulders (Bounce on your shoulders)
Dance them on your head (Bounce on your head)
Dance them on your knees (Bounce on your knees)
Tuck them into bed. (Fold arms hiding hands)
Peter Pointer… Baby Finger…
This finger play has continued to be a favourite with subsequent groups of children. I brought it back for circle time at the beginning of this month and the children are still excited about it so we have had the same poems for almost four weeks now.
I tried to take some pictures of them but their enthusiasm made this quite difficult. This is the best I was able to do;