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Saturday, June 1, 2019



Piddle Time
One of my first supervisors suggested we start each morning with “piddle time.” What is “piddle time”? It’s five or ten minutes at the beginning of the day as children arrive and straggle in. In most schools, they don’t all march in at the same time. I always had quiet activities on the rug to engage my children and give them time to talk, settle in, etc. Some days I’d put out a tub of books or magazines, sometimes puzzles, games, blank books and crayons, etc. Other teachers have told me that they have children write in their journals or do another paper activity to help them settle down.

Ticket to Circle Time
Run off paper tickets and pass one out to each child. Explain that it’s their special ticket for circle time. 

Hint! Cut a slit in the plastic lid of a food container for children to insert their tickets as they join the group.

Five Minute Warning

Several minutes before circle time I would ring a bell, sing a song, or do something else to let the children know we’d begin the day soon. This gave them time to bring closure to what they were doing. 

*I actually had a job called the “The Five Minute Person.” When there were five minutes before circle time, five minutes left in center time, five minutes left on the playground, etc. I’d tell that specific helper to give their friends the warning. They’d walk around holding up five fingers as they said, “Five more minutes! Five more minutes!” Talk about feeling important! Oh, and it really didn’t matter if it was five minutes or two minutes!

Announcing Circle Time
Capture children’s attention by saying:

     Give a drum roll….(pat knees and make a sound).
     Give a Beethoven…(pretend to hold a violin and hum the first few notes
     of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony).
     Give me a toot a roo…(pretend to hold a horn and toot).
    Let’s get ready for CIRCLE TIME!!!

*Make a "toot a roo" (aka trumpet) by decorating a paper towel roll.