My Preschool calendar time routine (circle time)

As I may have mentioned I teach Head Start. I had taught private church run preschools in the past, but had taken several years off to work in healthcare. I started with Head Start at the end of last school year. Boy was I out of practice. I had lost what "flow" I had for doing circle time (calendar time) and the children could tell. They were unengaged, uninterested and unimpressed with this new teacher that stepped into their room. I vowed that this year would be better.

We are at the end of our school year....again. This time I do not have the feelings of hopelessness that I had this time last year. I have a class full of energetic, engaged, interested and most of the time, impressed children. Since I do a double session, I believe that is pretty impressive. I want to share with you my circle time routine. I hope it works for you as well as it as me. I had some help from some amazing printable I found FREE (and everyone loves free) at I loved that I could print them in black and white, because I don't have access to a color printer at work. I printed it on card stock, colored it in, and laminated it. The month long weather graph came from Mrs. Meacham's classroom snapshot

Our routine goes like this...

The kids come in and sit down at the carpet (each child has their own letter they sit on) We start with Weather and the weather person song I am not sure what the tune is to this song (sorry)
Whats the weather like today? (repeat)
Will it rain or will it shine? 
Whats the weather like today. 

The weather person tells me what the weather is and as they are adding the appropriate pic to our weekly graph I chart the monthly graph and we sing.
(to the tune of "Bingo")
Today the sun is in the sky,
And sunny is the weather.
S-U-N-N-Y, S-U-N-N-Y, S-U-N-N-Y
And sunny is the weather.

Other verses:
Today the rain falls from the sky... R-A-I-N-Y
Today the clouds are in the sky... C-L-OUD-Y
Today the fog hangs in the sky... F-O-G-G-Y
Today the snow falls from the sky... S-N-O-W-Y
Today we have to wear a coat.. C-O-L-D 

I think I got this from CanTeach  If I really got it from you, I apologize. Please let me know so I can credit it to you.

This is what the weather graphing area looks like. I have the picture cards stored in envelopes with a picture of whats inside on the outside. I have 2 of everything, because I have a morning and afternoon class. I do the same routine everyday...twice a day.
 Here is a close up of the monthly weather graph.
This is a close up of our weekly weather graph.

Next we move on to Letter  of the week. They tell me what the letter is and we try to tie it back to our theme. An example is, this week's letter is V and we talked about Veterinarians. Then the number, we clap it and also talk about something related to our theme. This weeks was the number 2 and we talked about pets with only 2 legs. Then its Shape of the week. I like to name the shape and the describe it.  This week was a square. Everyone pointed out the 4 sides, but I mentioned a rectangle also has 4 sides.  This lead to a discussion about the word equal.  Color of the week is Black and we counted how many of us are wearing black and then we graph it. The above picture was taken last week, just so you don't think I don't know the difference between a u and a V.

Next up the calendar helper tells me the month, date and day. Shew finally time to talk about the lesson of the week. I sit in the floor with them and we have a discussion about the topic. Lots of what if's, why, and how come, gets asked in my room.

All in all this takes maybe 10-15 minutes.

My new calendar time is inspired by Mama Jenn. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my calendar time routine. -Holly

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