Circle time

Circle time provides a wealth of learning opportunities for children.  The focus on interaction means circle should be a language rich experience.

To get the most language learning out of your circle:

  • Know your children – their age, interests, and abilities.
  • Adapt content and length to the children in the group.  Circle time should last only as long as children are engaged.
  • Begin each circle in the same way each day. Repetition is essential to language learning.
  • Sing a variety of songs with gestures. Children who do not know the words can still participate!
  • Recite rhymes and poems to encourage phonological awareness.
  • Read stories over and over.  Let children finish the sentences in the book.
  • Talk about the story, the words and the pictures.  Make predictitions about what will come next.
  • Provide opportunities for children to practice language skills by encouraging participation during circle.
  • Be enthusiastic. Use facial expressions and your voice to engage the children.
  • Use props and visuals to help children understand meaning.
  • Have fun!

To help the learning continue after circle time is over:

  • Retell the stories that you have read using dramatic play or in the writing centre.
  • Use the books, games and other materials throughout the day.
  • Incorporate songs and stories into newsletters for families.
  • Invite family members to share stories, traditions, talents, and hobbies.
  • Use story extension activities. For new ideas, consult books like: Story Stretchers or Story Stretchers for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos by Shirley C. Raines.

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