The Work Plan

Friday, April 6, 2012

Circle Time and Focus Boards

For the first time in about two and half years I have a group of children that are really looking forward to Circle Time! Actually they were the same children I tried this with in September and it still wasn't a go. Now WE ARE READY!! You asked what made me try it again? Can I be honest Circle Time and I had a great love affair before I started learning about the Montessori Method. Then I did something wrong! I am only sharing this in hopes to help someone else out there discovering Montessori as well. I tried to imitate what I read on other blogs, it was a confusing thing to do circle time, or not to do circle time. Anyway I have come to the opinion that there cannot be Montessori Classrooms that is set up the same all over the world, because the group of children are not the same. Eureka!! See I am almost there. So I have a group of children who love learning new songs, love finding and discussing the letter of the week, and want to rock out and have jam sessions in the morning. Call it a cultural thing, whatever it is, this is what is true here. We play two great music with movement songs that get these children bodies moving and learning great song lyrics. Then we move on to calendar, weather, topic discussion and end our time with a go along craft. It is awesome! Then I dismiss each child with a transitional fingerplay and they are off to Montessori Work Period.
This is how it looks on the wall to the right of the room. Please excuse the lighting it is very poor. I could only take it with the light on.

This is the where we do our daily calendar work. We add on the dates as they arrive and take note of the patterns that are on the date cards. Make weather observations and discuss what to wear for that day.
Here is one of the focus boards. It has a our letters of the month. I am still following the Montessori way to teach reading and writing. To incorporate our letters of the month we will have Show and Tell days where the children will bring in a item that starts with the sound of the week, and from there they will have activities surrounding the letter. This idea I saw on the blog Inspired Montessori and Arts at Dundee Montessori. I know the kids well enough to say that they are going to enjoy this way of focusing on sounds as a group and also they love to have Show and Tell days with a purpose. Also this is where our daily weather is recorded. .
Here is the discussion Topic Poster of the day. It was what the light prevented you from seeing. We discuss stars, and what they are made up of . I save any Montessori related works for small group, and one on one lessons.
Here is our board that has our poem of the month, theme poster. One of the numbers of the month. This week was our first week incorporating this new circle time, so I haven't done anything on this board with them yet. For the numbers of the month we will have a collection of number jars, with different objects counting to the focus numbers on the shelves. As a group we just practice counting to 17 and identify what 1,7 and 17 look like.
They really enjoyed making a star wand. They used glue and glitter to write their first initial of their names. Doing the craft together has worked out and our CircleTime last about thirty minutes, but it's packed with a lot of fun!!
I also print out the topic poster for coloring sheets for the day, this idea has been well received by the kids.

1 comment:

  1. I love how many ways there are to approach group time! It has been so different in every class I've been a part of. I'm so glad to hear that you've found an approach that suits your group. It looks you poured a ton of love and energy into it.


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