Closing circle time in preschool classrooms, much like opening circle time, sets the tone for the rest of the day. It has a huge impact on the way everyone feels as they are leaving the classroom. It is a great time for everyone to reconnect each day. In the morning everyone is brought together to get the day started right, and at the end of class is a perfect time to talk about the day. What you do during your preschool closing circle time should be engaging, reinforce the days learning, and build a sense of community.
SET A ROUTINE
Having a clear and consistent routine, even within your circle time, allows children to know what to expect and what is expected of them. Start off your closing circle time with the same movement song each day for consistency, and to get them ready to actively participate in circle time.
Reflect on the goings on of the day with your preschoolers. It’s important to focus on the positives, but that does not mean that you need to, or should, ignore any of the more difficult parts of the day. Closing circle time is a great time to problem solve together. Replay a difficult part of the day. Collaborate with your preschoolers on how it could have gone better and what could be done differently next time.
Closing circle time is the time to reflect on learning as well. Discuss what kinds of things you observed your preschoolers working on during the day. Your preschoolers can all take turns recalling one thing that they did or learned, too. This discussion will help expand their learning and also builds on language skills.
Preschoolers are learning a lot as they play and explore each day. Celebrate them as they reach new milestones! There is no accomplishment too small, they are all worth mentioning and celebrating. Your preschoolers can help identify others’ accomplishments, too. Whether it is an act of kindness or a new skill that was mastered, celebrating your preschoolers accomplishments will help foster a positive community environment in your classroom.
Celebrating your preschoolers accomplishments during your closing circle time should be simple and quick. Even just recognizing the accomplishment gives your preschoolers a big boost in confidence.
SET A GOAL
After reflecting on the day and celebrating your preschoolers’ accomplishments, it is a good idea to set a goal for the next day. It doesn’t need to be anything crazy, keep it simple. Maybe you are planning to take your class for a walking field trip. A great class goal could be that everyone helps to keep each other safe. Discuss with your preschoolers what that might look like and write it down. This goal can be revisited in your opening circle time the next day and will help set the tone for the day.
Circle time should have a focus on the positives and be fun! It is a great time for reinforcing learning and reflecting on the day. Implementing a closing circle time in your preschool classroom will allow you to end the preschool day with structure and a strong sense of community.