Thursday, September 2, 2010

Montessori Circle Time Routines for the First Day: Welcome Songs

Circle Time on the First Day – Establishing Routines Part 1

NAMC montessori circle time routines first day welcome songs studentsThe first day of school is about establishing routines in the Montessori preschool classroom and we all know that preschoolers love routines! Preschoolers thrive on understanding how their day will unfold and predicting what will happen throughout the day. The first week of school can often be a little scary and stressful for some young Montessori students because they aren't yet able to predict how the day will unfold and it is the Montessori teacher’s responsibility to make the transition as simple and stress-free as possible!

Each Montessori school structures their day slightly differently. I prefer to begin my day with a circle time to get acquainted and to orient them to the Montessori classroom. I love gathering the children together and helping them to feel a real sense of community, and I try my best to show them that this is their Montessori classroom. I delight in hearing them share stories that are special to them, sing songs, ask questions and bond with one another. The first week, my aim is to make my circle routine in the Montessori classroom as predictable as possible and I share below a basic outline of what I typically do, as well as some great songs and activities for your classroom.

Montessori Circle Time Routines for the First Day: Welcome Songs

Greeting Arriving Students

I always have peaceful music playing while the children are arriving. The children enter the class and shake the hand of the teacher who is welcoming them at the door. They are directed to find their personal cubby, take off their shoes and coat, put on their indoor slippers and find a spot to sit on the floor in circle.

Focusing Attention With Songs

Once the majority of the children have arrived, I turn off the music and sing a welcoming song to ensure that I have their attention. I find movement songs work the best for focusing their attention. A quick song like the one below works very well:

This is the way we clap our hands, clap our hands, clap our hands
This is the way we clap our hands and fold our hands in our lap
This is the way we tap the floor, tap the floor, tap the floor
This is the way we tap the floor and fold our hands in our lap

NOTE: Continue with roll your hands, wiggle our fingers, tap our head, wiggle our toes etc.

Circle Time – Getting Acquainted

I welcome everyone and let them know how happy I am to see them all and how excited I am to meet our new classmates. I might then tell them that I brought something special to help me learn their names and to help them learn the names of all their new Montessori classmates. I pull a ‘Mystery Bag’ out from behind my back and reach in very slowly. The children are usually very quiet at this point and anxiously anticipating what I am going to pull out. Slowly, I pull out a bumblebee puppet showing a little bit of the puppet at a time. I then pass the bumblebee around the circle while I sing the following song and ensure that I remember to include each of the Montessori teachers as well as any class pets that we might have. They love it when I get to Speckles, our African Dwarf Frog and Monty, our Beta fish!

Iggeldi Piggeldi Bumble Bee,
Can you say your name for me,
(Child’s name), (Child’s name)
That’s a very nice name.

NOTE: Name Songs are so important for the first few weeks as they really help the students learn the names of one another and their teachers, which in turn help them to feel more comfortable in their new Montessori environment. They love hearing the sound of their own name which is great for building confidence and self esteem.

I have included below a few examples of simple greeting songs that can be implemented during the first circle time. Part 2 of this series on Circle Time will cover classroom orientation.

NAMC montessori circle time routines first day welcome songs students shake handsHello (Original Author Unknown)
Sung to: "Frere Jacques"

Hello, (child's Name) Hello, (child's name)
How are you? How are you?
We're so glad to have you,
We're so glad to have you.
Here at school, here at school




Roll Your Hands (Original Author Unknown)

Roll your hands as slowly as you can, as slowly as you can, as slowly as you can FREEZE!
Roll your hands as quickly as you can, as quickly as you can, as quickly as you can FREEZE!
Roll your hands as slowly as you can and fold them just like me

NOTE: Continue with clap your hands, tap your fingers, touch your nose, tap the floor etc.

Start the Day (Original Author Unknown)
Sung to: "Merrily we roll along"

Clap your hands to start the day, start the day, start the day
Clap your hands to start the day,
How are you this morning
Stomp your feet to start the day, start the day, start the day
Stomp your feet to start the day,
How are you this morning
Wiggle your fingers to start the day, start the day
Wiggle your fingers to start the day,
Sitting with your hands in your lap

Glad To See You (Original Author Unknown)
Sung to: "Frere Jacques"

Teacher:
I'm Ms. (name), I'm Ms. (name).
That's my name, That's my name.
Glad to see you here.
Glad to see you here.
What's your name? What's your name?

Child:
I am (name), I am (name).
That's my name, that's my name.
I am glad to be here,
I am glad to be here.
At school today, at school today.

Greeting Song (Original Author Unknown)
Sung to: "The farmer in the dell"

Teacher:
I'm glad you came today,
I'm glad you came today.
Hello to everyone, (wave hello)
I'm glad you came today.

Children:
We're glad we came today,
We're glad we came today.
Hello, hello to everyone, (wave hello)
We're glad we came today.

All:
We'll work and play today,
We'll work and play today.
Hello, hello to everyone, (wave hello)
We'll work and play today.

Welcome (Original Author Unknown)
Sung to: "Happy Birthday"

We welcome you here,
We welcome you here.
We welcome everybody,
We welcome you here.

How We Start Our Day (Original Author Unknown)
Sung to: "The Mulberry bush"

This is the way we start the day,
Start the day, start the day.
This the way we start the day,
So early in the morning.
First we smile and shake a hand,
Shake a hand, shake a hand.
First we smile and shake a hand,
So early in the morning.
Then we sit down quietly,
Quietly, Quietly
Then we sit down quietly,
So early in the morning.
We listen very Carefully,
Carefully, Carefully.
We listen very carefully,
So early in the morning.

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community. © the North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, September 2, 2010.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you again for these helpful posts!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are most welcome, Mari-Ann and thank-you for your positive feedback. You have no idea how much I appreciate it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. These are great, simple songs! I will use them in my classroom. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great posts Bree!

    You have been featured on the Montessori Goldmine
    http://themontessorigoldmine.blogspot.com/2010/09/tuesday-round-up_27.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank-you for your kind support, Jojoebi. I am honored to be featured on the Montessori Goldmine.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello,

    Nice picture of a play school kids with teacher, it is very nice to have a welcome song to give them energy and happiness to take interest on teacher's activities. Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank-you for your comment and yes, I love beginning each day with a welcome song to engage the children and prepare them for the day ahead. Also, children love a predictable routine and having a welcome song that you sing every day gives children that sense of predictability.

    ReplyDelete

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