Feb 25, 2015

Greeting Songs for Circle Time

Circle time in Early Childhood settings is usually a daily occurrence. Young children love to learn the greeting song. With repetition and rehearsal, they can sing along with the greeting and feel a sense of belonging and familiarity. Following are a variety of welcome songs for preschool or daycare. 

Song #1 To the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb

Who came to school today? Johnny did, Johnny did.
Who came to school today? Johnny did!

Song #2 To the tune of  She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain

Oh the greeting train is coming, all aboard  (toot toot)
Oh the greeting train is coming, all aboard. (toot toot)
Oh the greeting train is coming,
The greeting train is coming
The greeting train is coming, all aboard

And it's hello to (child's name), get onboard
And it's hello to (next child's name), get onboard


Song #3 To the tune of Happy Birthday

Good morning to you, good morning to you
Good morning dear friends
It's nice to see you

Good morning to (child's name) good morning to (next child's name)
good morning to (another child's name) it's nice to see you

Song #4 To the tune of Where is Thumbkin

Where is (child's name) where is (child's name)
There she is. There she is.
How are you today (child's name)
(Child's name) is feeling fine
You're here today, you're here today.

Song #5 Chose a tune

Hello, hello, hello and how are you
I'm fine, I'm fine, and I hope that you are too

Song #6 (or chant)

Our circle time is starting
I'm glad to see you hear
Hello to everybody
Let's give a great big cheer! Hooray!

Song # 7 To tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb

Another day at (name of preschool), (name), (name)
Another day at (name of preschool or daycare)
I'm glad that you are here

Further Resources:

Using the Felt Board for Circle Time Transition

Circle Time Basics Workshops with Circle of Ideas 

Feb 20, 2015

The Importance in Creating a Calm Environment for Young Children

The choices a teacher makes in his/her classroom send a message. "The environment contributes to setting the tone of the school day for both the children and the teacher. An organized, attractive, clean and warm setting results in more positive behaviors and attitudes." (Eliason&Jenkins, 34) Visual presentation of artwork, posters and lessons for learning easily fill preschool and primary school classroom walls becoming a busy collection of colors and images. Clutter in young children's school environments is common and for many students may not be an issue. But, for some students the visual chaos, particularly on the walls, truly affects their learning and overall success. For some students these busy walls simply add to the activity and disorder they are experiencing inside their bodies and minds.

Children Who are Affected by Busy Walls and Clutter

We are not all the same. Some people love things around them and are not bothered by many items in their vision, colors and shapes bombarding their sensory input. But for others, such as children under the autistic spectrum, those diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, FAS or even students with dyslexia, a busy and cluttered room may be difficult to handle, and possibly contribute to sensory overload. It adds to their daily struggle in such things as being organized, the ability to concentrate, and in keeping their bodies calm and still. A room that is buzzing with visual stimulation may create unwanted behavior in the classroom and away from the child's learning process.

Scanning The Classroom

A teacher should try and imagine what it is like to be the student, perhaps sit in a chair and scan his/her eyes around the entire classroom. Another idea is to ask other adults how they feel when viewing the walls. When assessing his/her room, the teacher could ask himself/herself, "Is there any organization? Are there items that could be tucked away into boxes to make this space visually less cluttered? Are there posters that could be taken down for awhile? What is the purpose of each item on these walls? Even without the sound of the children, could these walls contribute to sensory overload? How do I feel in this room?" When the evaluation is made, then changes can occur.

Tips on Setting Up a De-Cluttered Walls and Space

Placing items on the wall or boards should be given proper consideration in how it affects the space. It is crucial that young children feel pride in their environment as they view their work on the wall. Teachers need to have relevant lessons in children's view for learning. Yet, at the same time, some steps can be considered when displaying pieces to help create a more soothing and pleasing presentation. There are many articles providing tips on how to decorate a bulletin board, here are some more things to consider when decorating a classroom:

  • keep some wall space completely free of items
  • choose an organized technique when displaying art with equal spaces in between to help create a visual flow
  • avoid hanging artwork from the ceiling
  • current items on walls should be relevant to the season and topics
  • sometimes less is more
  • consider paint on walls and choose a soothing background color
  • when displaying the student's artwork, select pieces that are less busy and have similar patterns, for instance, handprints versus finger painting
  • store away papers, books and such in closed compartments to limit visual clutter
  • pick adjectives to describe your ideal room and try making the environment match those words

An organized, de-cluttered, calming and welcoming room is not only going to help the children with sensory and behavioral challenges, but the rest of the classroom and the teacher will benefit from this space as well.

Source: Eliason and Jenkins, A Practical Guide to Early Childhood Curriculum, 6th Ed., United States: Merill Publishing, 1999.