First Week of School Morning Circle Time Plans

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morning circle time lesson plans

Back to school means fresh faces, new routines, and lots of possibilities. Morning circle time is one of the first activities we do with the students and we want to set up for success.  Let’s dive into the first week of circle time.

morning circle time lesson plans

Goals of Morning Circle Time During the First Week of School

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Keeping circle time short and interactive is super important for the first week of school.  Students have to do lots of listening during the first week so circle time provides an opportunity for students to be heard and interact.  Plus, we are building a routine.

So our goals are:

  • Build a community
  • Establish an interactive and positive environment
  • Play with language
  • Instill a routine

Setting Up for Circle Time Success

We all know that thinking through our plans and planning ahead leads to great success.  The same holds true for circle time.

Things To Do Before the First Week of School

circle time resources kept inside a basket

Before school begins, build your circle time basket.  Doing so will help circle time run smoothly throughout the year.—>Click here to build your circle time basket.

Know Your Audience

Attention spans of little ones are short.  Plus, it’s back to school time so they are even shorter.  You really want to keep circle time moving at the beginning of the year.

Plan Plan Plan

Be purposeful about everything you do during circle time.  We only have a very limited number of minutes so make them count.—>Click here for tips and tricks of circle time success.

Sample First Week of Morning Circle Time

There are four components of circle time for the first week of school that I like to use.

  1. Gathering Song: This is a recorded song that I play that alerts students to come to the meeting area for circle time. Pick one to use from my Gathering Songs Spotify Playlist.  I like to use the same song for the whole year.  But, you could change it quarterly.
  2. Song: This is a literacy-building song that we sing together.  I like to use a new song each week.  My Circle Time Songs and Chants Vol. 1 and Circle Time Songs and Chants Vol. 2 Month by Month are perfect resources.
  3. Check-In: This is a quick look at our morning question results.  When students enter the classroom they quickly answer a morning question by placing their name badge under their chosen response to a fun question.  I use this for taking attendance, giving students a voice, learning about students’ interest, and for students to start to recognize letters in their name.  Our Preschool Literacy Units all have morning check-in questions.
  4. Book or Rhyme: Select one book and one nursery rhyme for the week.  The book should be short, fun, and interactive.  The nursery rhyme should be familiar.

Day 1

Gathering Song

Song: Good Morning Song (works on days of the week and students’ names)

Check-In: Review results of morning entry question- Which color do you like best? green or orange

Book: Shake the Treeby Chiara Vignocchi-Read just for enjoyment.-

Day 2

Gathering Song

Song: Good Morning Song

Check-In: Review results of morning entry question- Which food do you like best? pizza or hamburgers

Rhyme: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star– Give each student a star sticker to place on each hand. Have students flash their hands like stars while you sing.

Day 3

Gathering Song

Song: Good Morning Song

Check-In: Review results of morning entry question-  How old are you? 4 or 5

Book: Shake the Tree by Chiara Vignocchi- Have students shake like trees to the left and right.

Day 4

Gathering Song

Song: Good Morning Song

Check-In: Review results of morning entry question- Which do you like best? cats or dogs

Rhyme: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star- Place some letter stars on the floor and have students point to different letters that you call out.

Day 5

Gathering Song

Song: Good Morning Song

Check-In: Review results of morning entry question- Which movie do you like best? The Lion King or Frozen

Book: Shake the Tree by Chiara Vignocchi- Have the students retell and sequence the animals that climbed the tree.

There you have it!  Your first week of circle time ready to go.

Moving Past the First Week- What Do We Do During Circle Time?

Keep the same format above for several weeks.  You can start to extend things with longer stories or another literacy activity as your student’s attention spans expand.

I have a few resources that will help you with circle time all year long.

Circle Time Songs and Chants

Each volume has over 30 circle time songs and chants that will build literacy skills.  They are perfect for your morning song.—>Get the Circle Time Songs and Chants

Preschool Literacy Units

Our monthly literacy units have built-in circle time plans that follow the format below.  You have proven circle time read aloud hits, circle time songs, and nursery rhyme suggestions that are all theme-based. The units can be purchased separately or as a bundle to save money.—>Get the Units

9 UNITS OF LESSON PLANS FOR PRESCHOOLERS

What else can I help you with when it comes to morning circle time? Let me know in the comments below.

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