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Circle Time


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Hi

I just wanted some advice, we have had an early years advisor into our setting and while she was there she observed our circle time, we have 2 children who are very disruptive at circle time, won't sit, shout, cry, talk, kick the child in front etc. She said they were doing this because they were bored!!!!! We have already spilt the circle time inot two groups, we now have 12 in each and split the 2 children who find circle time hard to one in each group, we have tried doing action songs, singing, stories with puppets, musical instruments, but without success. As soon as the child wanders off, kicks etc the others follow........ we have tried congratulating the children who are listening with stickers and saying, wow look how well ... is listening, we have tried having an adult with the child who distrupts the circle time and encouraging him to listen but he just starts screaming very loudly and no one can hear.

we have introduced golden rules and tried discussing these....

we are at a loss what to do,

 

Our earlys years advisor said we need to put together an action plan to address it.............

 

Has anyone else expereinced this???????

 

Any advice greatly recieved.

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Hi

My concern is that both these children start school in september. The advisor told me i should be encouraging them to sit and listen, but this is disrupting it for everyone else, i have tried many different activities but nothing seems to hold onto their attention. Even when we do circle games they won't join in the circle....instead they try running through breaking the chain and disrupting it for everyone else... i have tried many different tactiic when they don't join in, for example you will have to sit and watch, reading in the book corner, puzzles, stickers, praising the children who have joined in....... i'm running out of ideas........

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Can you give them an egg timer to watch to try to extend their sitting, or just take them away from the circle altogether and give them a job to do, like checking the trays and bookbags, getting coats etc

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im not sure your advisor is right :o from what you've said it sound like they are doing this for attention so the only way to get around that is to not give attention for it...can you get a member of staff to take them to a different area ...quiet time somewhere...if they want to join in with the group then they have to accept the rules (choices have consequences!!!) september is 7 months away and although as adults we can see it approaching fast for children of this age it is a long time ..sounds like you have tried loads of strategies already maybe time is the only answer?

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can i also add in here that we are not there to make the schools life easier by getting them ready...

 

we are there to care for the children at a stage that is appropriate to them.. if they are not ready there is no point in making a big issue of it.. they end up resenting and never wanting to join in or al the attention is on them so they get an audience.. we used to find a small quiet area away from the others with something to do. supervised from a distance , sometimes it was just the act of saying Ok off you go.. let the others enjoy xxx which caused them to think .. just explain to the others that they are not understanding the rules yet.. most children this age seem to accept a simple explanation as to why it is different for others..

 

if wanting to extend concentration to sit and listen have you tried a story just for them, or just for one at a time where they have to sit and listen on own for just a few minutes..( cannot remember the age' rule', is it age +2 mins for concentration). , gradually adding in other children to the mix...

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I have to agree maybe these children are not ready yet, you have a while before school and at the end of the day we are not like school!

 

If we have children like this we would let them go off and play, last year we an autistic child who couldnt sit and he went off to play and he was noisy too but because our other children are happy and settled with the routine of welcome time they coped

 

could you not have a member of staff to sit with these children?

 

If you insisit they come to the group then how bout giving them some resposibility, eg holding a soft toy or puppet, choosing the songs

 

we also during circle show items children have bought it, perhaps these children could bring something to show

 

How long is your circle time?? should it be shorter

 

our welcome time is 5-10 mins.

 

being consistent in behaviour management if they do kick another child

 

hope this helps

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On a course the other week, one of the Early Years consultant's told us she hates the phrase "getting the children ready for school" and that she thinks "school should be getting ready for the children" maybe you could say this to your adviser and see if she can think of a PC answer, lol x

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couldnt agree more Annie pops, they are still so young and yes our aim to have to have a child who can self selcet problem solve have good relationships with peers and adults, be independent but we are only in Feb still have to July to go.

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My immediate reaction would be that there may be some underlying behavioural stuff going on here with these two particular children. Although preschool is not about 'getting children ready for school', it's not beyond the bounds of normal behaviour for children to be asked by an adult to sit quietly, share, join in.

 

I wouldn't be surprised to see this kind of behaviour if we asked our younger children to sit together for a few minutes, I would be surprised if our older ones couldn't manage it when asked politely by an adult.

 

A good rule of thumb I was given a few years back is 'be reasonable, but don't reason with them'. Question 1 - is what you're asking reasonable for the age range? Question 2 - if they refuse to do it, what do you have in place to deal with that refusal?

 

On a practical level, having a staff member sit with them, or simply not asking them to join in circle time in the first place could be a starting point. But personally I would be asking a local SEN specialist to have a look.

 

Don't know if that sounds like an over reaction but I am very very keen on behavioural issues getting picked up before they start school. Once they are in a situation with potentially 1 teacher to almost 30 of them, this kind of stuff can really cause serious problems.

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I would be inclined to go bck to your early years advisor, as she has witnessed the behaviour, tell her the strategies you have already tried, and ask for advice and support on what she suggests you put in your 'action plan'.

 

When I spoke to our early years advisor about circle time recently, she said we should not be 'forcing' children to join in if they don't want to, it should all be relaxed.

Edited by Devondaisy
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I have to say it does sound like a behavioural/SEN issue where you perhaps need to seek support. Otherwise you could be banging your head against a brick wall when there is a reason for this behaviour.

I am a reception teacher and i agree that if children are not ready then allowances should be made and children should be taught at the level that they are ready for. My carpet time at the start of the year is no more than 5 minutes. For some children it is still 5 minutes at easter, they do what they are capable of.

Also I have to say one of my biggest bug bears is advisors coming in and telling you what you need to do 'Action Plan' then swanning off and not doing the action plan with you. I go in to schools to advise others and i always work with them to complete or achieve what they need to do. All to often Advisors stick to their title, they advise but never 'help' you do anything and i find it very frustrating. Go back and ask your advisor for practical support. Perhaps she could take the circle time and show you how she would cope with these children!

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Hi. I too am a reception teacher and I feel as you do about 'getting children ready for' whatever their next stage is. Like Rufus my carpet times (for phonics and numeracy) are short in September, gradually increasing to 15 mins or so by about now. Most children can manage this but those who can't aren't expected to - I do expect all children to come to the carpet at the same time but then have pre-arranged exit strategies eg working in a separate small group and then rejoining the big group. Gradually we change the balance of big/small group timings so that they are taking part in the big group eventually, but not all children manage this by the end of Year R.

Circle time is a bit different as chlldren are expected to listen to each other, and sometimes they have very small voices, so I have 3 circles of 10 which limits the 'waiting for my turn' aspect and means every one can be actively involved. Again, 5 mins is pretty much the maximum and I do ask for support from someone else for one particular child this year.

Please don't feel pressured to 'get children ready', childhood is too short already!

Mary

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Couldn't agree more Mary and Rufus is is bout knowing your children and having strategies in place for those that cannot manage what is being expected of them.

 

And time is so short and i want my children in my setting to be having challenging but a fun environment in which to leaarn and grow not to have children who can sit for 15 mins during cicrle time becuase we are getting them ready for school

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Thankyou sooo much for all your responses....

 

I'm glad others have suggested taking them away to another area in the pre-school, as this was something i was doing until my EYA told me they needed to join in at circle time because they are going to school, i know EYA's are suppose to help but sometimes it just feels as if they make life more stressfull............. these children just aren't ready to sit, our circle time is 15 minutes but that includes time to put their coats on etc, as we now doing it at the end of the session so as not to interrupt their play during the session.

 

I will have a think about everything that has been suggested... thankyou sooo much, lots to think about :o

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Guest terrydoo73

I have a similar problem with one particular child. Now we are working with pre-preschoolers so they still have another year before they will be going to school. We identified immediately what this childs problem was - tiredness. We thought it was an attention seeking thing at the beginning but realised soon it was not. We were scared that he would lead the others away from the area but this didn't happen. A little word with his childminder and mum helped solve the problem - he was going for a sleep after playgroup each day and most days he comes into us he has had a late night so it was a definate tiredness issue. We have tried one to one sitting reading a story with him and getting him to hold the book, continuing with the other children doing rhymes and letting him lie down on the floor with his face turned to the floor but now after a number of weeks working this way he realises what happens and joins in. It just takes patience and some days you see him doing well, then others he makes a real fuss and you have to ignore it as it can interrupt the whole flow. Those last couple of minutes are precious to us as we see children responding so well to rhymes joining in with the words and actions - wonderful observation time!

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  • 2 months later...

Hi,

 

we have a couple of children who struggle with circle time and are September schoolies, however I know that for them it is a case of needing a very short, active and smaller group circle time, which we are adressing.

We have another little boy who struggles with circle time full stop. No matter what! For him we try to either have an adult available to sit with him & support his inclusion in part (maybe 3-5mins) of our circle time, ie he joins us for the story only, or for a couple of songs. The adult will then ask him to help carry out "jobs" around the nursery, or share a story 1:1 with him in the book corner.

If there is no "spare" adult, then this child is given a specific choice, he may choose either to join us for circle time or to take himself off to the book corner where he can chill out, look at books, carry out a puzzle etc. This doesn't always work! But we feel it is important that he be given ownership of his choice, while having limited options to choose from.

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Guest terrydoo73

It is hard to believe that I wrote this 2 months ago. I am happy to report that we now have 10 children in our playgroup who settle well at the end of each session to a bit of rhyme and book time. The rhymes have gone down really well with all the children with everyone participating in the actions. We introduced a take home and share book system in April to try and encourage children and parents to handle and look at books more and this has worked successfully. Now when we bring out books in our session they all are very keen to hear what is said and will point out things that we ourselves sometimes have not noticed. We could repeat the same book all week and they still love returning to it. We are using our local library extensively but have not overcome the problem of children actually using the area on their own initiative (see my other posting on this subject). I think the only way to get them to move into the area freely is if our books were better displayed so am working on this. We have a kinderbox but it is very deep and the children do not really see the books well. We took in some comics but they were shred to pieces very quickly. We also have picture books of children actively doing things in playgroup to try and encourage them to talk which has worked to a point.

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  • 8 months later...

i can see this was started some time back but looking through felt i could ask for some advice - we have one child who before i came was allowed to wander play with toys etc whilst others were expected to sit and listen for show and tell etc ( routine has changed now ), I have asked for him to be encouraged to sit with others and have one to one from member of staff to ensure this, he is making great improvement and is sitting for longer periods ( i try to keep it to a minimum ) he has no clear verbal communication and very little social skills, i do not feel it is fair to expect all other hildren to do something yet make exceptions all iof the time for others. This child has had no previous interaction with other children and has an aversion to food , sitting at table etc but i believe this may be because he has never been given opportunity to do so and has been allowed to do whatever he wants- he is 3 in April - i cannot say whether he has additional needs as originally thought, as it could be he just had not had the opportunites to learn/develop skills.

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