classroom management

Why We Don't Use a Sign-In Book in Preschool

Why We Don't Use a Sign-In Book in Preschool

Have you heard of the process of 'signing in' in the pre-k classroom?

When a student comes in for the day, he or she takes time to sign their name in a sign-in book or clipboard.  It is a way for children to practice writing their names each day.

Sounds good right?? Here is why we don’t use sign-in books in our preschool classroom.

The Benefits of a Visual Schedule

The Benefits of a Visual Schedule

Schedules are an important way of life.   They keep us in a routine and get us to the places we need to be.  In a preschool classroom, a schedule is the backbone to our day.  It helps us get all the things done that we wanted to accomplish.  While I had my written schedule hanging up in the room, I found that many of my students were asking 'what do we do next?'.  So, I knew it was time to create a visual schedule for my little non-readers!

Preschool Classroom Jobs

You can give every student in your classroom a job easily and fit them into your preschool classroom!

 Kids love feeling special and I love helping them feel special!  That is why in our preschool classroom each and every child has a special job every day.  For us, having preschool classroom jobs is not just about children helping out in class.  Jobs help cultivate a feeling of community.  Plus, when each student gets a job everyday he or she fills a special spot within that community.  For preschoolers, jobs are super fun!

I like to create jobs that fit easily into our day.   Some of the jobs I assign are carried out through the day.  Some examples of these jobs include: 

-Door Holder

-Light Helper

-Snack Helper

-Lunch Helper

-Materials Helper

-Line Leader

I also like to incorporate some jobs that promote learning and community that we carry out during our circle time.  Some examples of these jobs include:

-The Greeter (see picture below)

-Weather Watcher

-Calendar Helper

-Estimation Helper

-News Reporter

-Survey Taker

Some of these circle time jobs I like to bring in and out throughout the year to give a little variety to the jobs and to our circle time.

Are you thinking...a job for everyone- that sounds like a lot of work?!  Trust me when I tell you, once students learn the jobs, it flows so nicely.  Give it a try!  

Do you already incorporate a job for each student everyday?  Tell me about it in the comments below!


Are you looking for a classroom jobs kit that is already made for you?  You can check out the one I created and use in my classroom here:

Keep Preschool Circle Time Lively with these Quick Tips!

Do you struggle with to keep your preschool student's attention at circle time?  Are students distracted and un-engaged?  These quick tips to keeping circle time lively might help!

preschool circle time tips

Imagine with me if you will....

It is mid-year in your preschool classroom and it is time for circle time.  You are feeling a little dread because circle time is not your favorite time of the day.  It is supposed to be an engaging time to build a class community and review some core skills.  But, anymore it feels just routine.  Kids are rolling, pinching, picking and talking.  < None of which are a part of your circle time plan.

You started wondering why even bother with circle time.  It seems like some 'right of passage' for preschool.  But, you aren't feeling it.  So, you do less and less of it.  But, then you start wondering when you and your class are going to review some of those key skills like letter recognition or counting.  There is small group time, but you feel like you need to do some review daily.  You are also starting to miss that comradery that your circle time had at the beginning of the year.  The class coming together and learning together - it can be such a powerful experience!

So maybe you'd like to have some sort of circle time with your class, but it needs some revamping.....

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Does this experience sound at all familiar to you?  Are you ready to make some changes in  your circle time routine to keep it a fun and lively learning experience?

Check out these Quick Tips to Keep Circle Time Lively:

  • A circle time that lasts too long can result in negative behaviors from students.  How long is your circle time?  Do you extend the time frame as the year goes on?  At the beginning of the year I like to keep circle time short and sweet at around 10 minutes.  As the year goes on I extend the time as student's attention spans increase and by the end of the year our circle time is roughly 15-20 minutes (at most).

 

  • Consider your physical space.  Do children sit on one large rug?  If so, could you take the proactive route and add names to tape and create designated spots for each child.  Or, do children have their own carpet squares which help define their personal space?  Sometimes considering the space you have for students to sit can help management issues.  Hearing "He is touching me!" or "She is sitting where I want to sit!" stops when spaces are defined.

 

  • Keep students involved in circle time by giving out jobs within your circle time.  Like, a calendar helper, weather watcher or song leader.  You can also keep students involved by encouraging conversation and asking for student input.

 

  • Shake up your routine by changing it up.  Decide some 'core' activities you plan on doing every day (like calendar, weather or greeter) and change up some 'add-in' activities.  For example, you could add in an estimation jar activity, nursery rhymes or student surveys.  Bring in different add in activities every several weeks/months to keep things fresh!  

I have found, after making some adjustments to my circle time that this time together can stay a positive learning experience with just a little bit of planning on my part.  With an intentional plan in place my class is now rockin' circle time and loving every minute of it!

If you'd like, I have my sample circle time schedules for download below:

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