Why we Still Use a Calendar at Circle Time

Oh, circle time....
that time of the day that seems to be another one of those things that preschool teachers 'just do'.

But WHY?


I have really been pushing myself to be more purposeful in the classroom.  Which means, taking a hard look at some of the things we do as early childhood teachers that we have always done or that every teacher does.

One of these is calendar at circle time.

Many teachers are doing away with the calendar at preschool circle time because young children don't quite understand the concept of time in days, months and years.  We know this to be true because to a preschooler everything happened yesterday!  So, if children don't grasp the idea of time why on earth spend time doing the calendar together?

Here is my calendar WHY:
 

  • We are counting with 1-1 correspondence in a meaningful way

  • We are practicing counting orally to 30 or 31

  • We are moving with left to right, top to bottom progression

  • We are beginning to recognize numerals

  • We are exposing children to the vocabulary of days of the week and months of the year

  • When we mark special events on the calendar, we are helping children visualize a countdown to that event

  • We practice patterning


Overall, we are introducing the idea of what a calendar is and how it helps us, so that later when a calendar is present, children have schema for what is a calendar is.

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Do you have a calendar?  Do you agree with the use of calendars at circle time?

Come join the conversation


 

Do you need a Patterning Calendar Set?

Check out this one!


How to get your Writing Center Rockin'

Writing in the Early Childhood classroom is important.

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Even though preschool writing may not look like traditional writing, it is an important part of the literacy process.

But, have you ever struggled with getting your preschoolers to go to the writing center?

Yep, me too. When given the choice, my traditional writing center with pencils, pens and paper was not too appealing when up against a sensory tub full of sand or a grocery store in the drama center.

My traditional writing center was just not cuttin' it.

The goals I had for my writing center are for children to get a writing utensil in their hand and make marks that are meaningful to them.  I want children to enjoy this experience and I want to throw a little fine motor in there too.

So, I knew- it's time to start changing it up!

My plan was to draw them into the writing center with new, exciting and different materials.  I knew that if I could draw their attention in, they would come and write- as a preschooler can- and my writing center goals would be met.

 But, what kinds of new, exciting and different materials can be added?

Here are just a few ideas:

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Start out simple...

Adding clipboards makes everything more exciting!  Clipboards are a tool children don't get to use too often, making them exciting!

Think beyond white paper...  envelopespost-it notes and index cards are also tools not available to most children on a regular basis- making them exciting and new.

Move beyond just pencils.  Ballpoint penshighlighters and smelly markers make interesting writing utensils for children to explore.



Then, start collecting more writing tools and activities...

Boogie Boards are a fun way to encourage writing, and it erases with a push of a button!

Wooly Willy is an old-school magnetic fun board.  I like it because it gets a pencil-like tool in children's hands and they make strokes to move the magnets inside.

Water Wow is a big hit in our classroom.  You fill up a tube with a paintbrush on the end.  You use the brush on the special cards- we have alphabet cards- and images and colors appear. 

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Need more ideas?

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