Preschoolers tend to have an abundance of energy, and are in dire need of burning it off in any manner possible. As a preschool teacher, it is of utmost importance to have structure and discipline in your classroom, and this will help you to quiet your preschoolers at circle time. A well behaved group of preschoolers is much easier to teach and inspire than a rowdy group that will not quiet down even for circle time.
Circle time is a fun portion of the school day when the preschool teacher should have full attention of all the children. During circle time, the teacher can encourage the love of reading, use picture books, sing songs, or even watch educational videos and interactive DVD’s. Circle time should be multi-sensory, and should try to encompass all of the learning styles of the different children.
Many children learn through a combination of learning styles, but some are singular in their methodology. In order to get children to be quiet at circle time, it is important to touch on all learning styles so that each and every child is actively engaged in the activity, and can learn something.
Preschool teachers cannot simply ask the children to sit quietly, as this will only satisfy the auditory learners in the group. The teacher must also use some visual cues to attract their attention, and can even give them something to hold onto for circle time, which will help those that are kinesthetic in nature.
The ability to have a controlled circle time is a testament to the patience and understanding of a teacher. Not every child will sit quietly during circle time, even if you have tried the above tactics. Some children need constant redirection and prompts to behave in a desired manner.
Depending on the child, you may want to pay attention to where they are sitting during circle time. Perhaps they are too far away from the teacher, or too close to the teacher, and their sight line is compromised. A child with hearing loss or speech impediment may need alternate seating arrangements. The child may be sitting next to another child that they do not get along with, and the teacher should try to foster a stronger sense of community within their classroom.
Once the children have all secured a position for circle time, the teacher should immediately praise and reward the children for their positive behaviours. A sing-a-long works wonders for bringing everyone together, and then the teacher can move on to their desired activity following the conclusion of the song.
The preschool teacher must ensure that there is rarely any delay between activities, so that the children do not have the chance to lose or shift focus. Circle time needs to be quiet so that all children have the chance to hear and be included in the activity. If children are not quiet, the distractions might be too much to overcome for some children, especially those with ADHD.
Preschool teachers must practice integrity in their classrooms, and most notably during circle time. When a behaviour occurs that does not fall within the parameters of acceptable, then their needs to be an immediate consequence. The consequence should be gentle and accompanied by positive reassurance and enthusiasm.
A preschool child does not understand the notion of consequence fully, so it needs to be explained. The child must also know that it was the behaviour, and not them, that was being disciplined. There is a fine line between discipline and punishment, and it should never be crossed.
Using a multi-sensory approach, and touching upon all of the learning styles, the preschool teacher can effectively maintain quiet during circle time in order to deliver their curriculum to an engaged audience of young minds in dire need of sculpting. Learning how to behave and keep quiet during circle time in preschool will help them through the rest of their academic journey to become successful students.