by Teresa Narey
What is circle time?
Most early child care or preschool educators will tell you that circle time is a staple in their settings. But what is circle time, and how can we do it well? Circle time comes from the tradition of Friedrich Froebel, a German educator responsible for implementing the first organized kindergarten in the mid-19th century. For Froebel, circle time was a time for children to learn and play in group activities. Circle time then was much like it is now in many school communities—it happened at the beginning and end of each day to help children focus and to reinforce community. Circle time included music and movement, as well as fingerplays and storytelling, and in many settings, these activities still comprise the time. The word “circle” describes the position of the educator and children during the activities—they may sit or move in a circle depending on the activity.
10 Steps to Shakespeare
by Debbie Keiser
Have you noticed some children naturally want to learn to write while others have no interest? Sometimes this is developmental and sometimes they just need to develop the skills that support writing to gain confidence. With expectations for children entering Kindergarten higher than ever, preschool teachers are challenged with the task of helping children develop emergent writing skills.
by Katie Brazerol
In recent years there has been a push to include more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills in education. As the trend has shown success, educators have recommended the application of STEM activities in early childhood as well. Incorporation of STEM activities will help children observe, analyze, and make predictions about things in their environment. They will learn to fulfill their natural curiosity and develop inquisitiveness about subjects and how things work. They will also strengthen math skills beyond shapes, colors, and counting, such as analyzing quantities, measuring, collecting data, and recording results.
by Kelley Jilek
Children learn about writing long before they are able to write themselves. They discover more about written language each time they see print in their environment. It was once believed that children would not be able to write until they had mastered the basic aspects of spoken language, but children are “writing” when they experiment with different paint strokes or when they scribble various marks across a paper. We now know all developmental aspects of early literacy (speaking, reading, and writing) build on each other and develop simultaneously.