As a community, we share our thoughts, listen to one another, actively participate together, introduce new concepts and ideas, read together, sing together, and build a sense of respect and support for one another. Almost all early childhood childcare and preschool Jakarta programs have at least one circle time in their daily schedule. Circle time should reflect the needs and interests of the children in classroom.
Circle is an ancient, universal, and simple symbol of unity and wholeness, and that circle time, as an activity for groups of children, has been around for about a century. Since there is no beginning or end, every individual in a circle is equal and belongs to the whole group. Expanding on this idea, the most successful circle times include acceptance, openness, and non-judgmental expression of ideas.
Since the opportunities for reading, discussion, and play in circle time are endless, so too is the opportunity for children to learn and grow. How to behave appropriately in a group is a learned skill, which prepares young children for more formal education, for other group activities, and for many experiences in adult life. Everything from social skills to language to empathy can be gained with practice in circle time.
Make sure you have a defined space that you use each day for circle time. Give each preschooler a specific spot to sit with enough space that they do not have to touch one another. Follow the same basic schedule each day for circle time. That way the children know what to expect as well as what is expected of them.
This does not mean that you cannot vary activities; it just means that you are creating a routine for the preschoolers will follow. Choose activities that work for your class. Each group will be different, so you may have to adapt. Some children love singing songs while others would much rather listen to a story.
In preparing circle time there are things to consider. First, prepare for a consistent transition into and out of circle time. Repetition of a simple song, movement, action, guessing game, activity, or icebreaker to signal the start and end of circle time helps children learn the basics with greater ease. Second, the length of time and group size should be appropriate. Toddlers should only have five to 10 minutes of circle time, preschoolers can participate for 10 to 15 minutes.
Third is to use a variety of techniques to hang on to children’s attention. These techniques include humor, suspense, varying the tone and volume of your voice as you read and speak, including children in the story or an activity as much as possible, and choosing topics that are of interest to young children.
Fourth is to choose a wide variety of topics, themes, books, songs, activities, games, experiments, movement, fingerplays, and props that are appropriate for the children’s age and stage of development. And fifth is to be prepared with a back-up plan. If a story, song, or activity is not of interest to the children, have another in mind to save the day.
With all the several things above, you will have a better and more effective circle time with the kids in preschool Jakarta, and the kids will also gain many benefits from circle time beside their usual learning time.