I used to teach first grade. We had circle time. It was a powerful time of learning and growth and socializing.
I never thought it would be even more powerful in 4th grade.
I'm starting an occasional series of ways I'm using circles in my classroom to develop all sorts of skills.
So I've written some about this before, but the most frequent way we use the circle is for our class meetings. We take a little break, some kids have snacks from home. We all move our chairs to sit in a circle. The circle is kinda sacred.
Recently I've spent a good deal of our class meeting time discussion expectations and giving kids a chance to share. 4th graders really count on this time to have their voices heard. You don't have to talk about the topic, but you must say Good Morning.
We went on a field trip yesterday. It was a little unusual because there are 3 fourth grades classes in our building, but our trip was split in 2 groups. Our class was split, so we didn't all have identical experiences.
This morning I was trying to rush our meeting because we had an assembly, but one fairly quiet student said, "Aren't we going to talk about what we liked on the field trip?" I could have rushed right over that, but I would have missed the smiles and enthusiasm as kids talked about their experiences and compared notes a bit.
We also use the time to work on a variety of social skills. I'll write more about those at some future point.
Do you use any sort of circle time in your classroom?