This year, I am hoping to share a lot more about how I have learned to lead a classroom of 2-3 year olds.
It sure isn’t easy, and most days I go home questioning my sanity (and why on earth I continue to think that wearing white pants to preschool is a good idea), but the reality is I love seeing lightbulbs go off in these precious little guys’ heads. I love seeing them make connections. I love being a part of their growth!
One of the best gifts you can give this particular age group is REPETITION. They learn so much from repeated routines.
This is why we have a special Morning Meeting routine every morning that helps us start our day the right way.
The Morning Meeting is a short gathering where we get to focus on a few things – community, counting, and Christ!
Our Morning Meeting usually happens about 30 minutes after arrival and the kids have cleaned up from Table Time Toys and Free Play.
I transition into this time by singing, “Come, Come, Come sit down. Come, Come, Come sit down. Come, Come, Come sit down – it’s time to say HELLO!” (sung to the tune of Skip to My Lou).
When the children hear me sing this little ditty, they head to their assigned spot on our large area rug.
The first thing we do in our Morning Meeting is…
We sing a fun and upbeat Hello Song that gets us marching and dancing around the carpet area.
I have been using an old CD I got from a curriculum Happy Buddy used in his 3 year old music class several years ago! I can’t seem to find it on the web, but there are SO many other great Hello Song options out there.
Any of these would be good…
- Good Morning Song by Kiboomu Kids Songs
- Hello Friend by Dr. Jean
- 8 Songs to Begin a Preschool Day by Teaching Mama
- Good Morning Song by Fun in First
After our Hello Song, we sit on our assigned spot on the carpet and…
I have a large magnetic oil drip pan (Walmart – $12!) hanging on the wall next to our carpet area and every month I put up themed magnets with the children’s names on them.
At the beginning of the year I use school buses. September will be apples. October pumpkins, November turkeys, December stars, etc. I bought the themed cut-outs from Carson Dellosa and I simply write the students’ names on the front and add a small magnet to the back.
I usually hold up someone’s name tag and sing, “Look who came to school today, school today, school today. Look who came to school today… SO-AND-SO did!”
Then that child must stand and come put his/her magnet on the wall.
As the child is walking up to the wall, I have the rest of the class greet the child by saying things like, “Hi Jamie! We’re so happy to see you!” or “Hi Jamie! Welcome to school!”
This is such a wonderful activity because (after doing this every morning all year long) the children eventually learn how to recognize their names on the magnets. And I even use this as a time to focus on the first letter of each child’s name. By the end of the year, my students will be saying, “J for Jamie,” and “C for Chase!”
Once all of our magnets are on the wall, we…
I use a pointer stick and we count the number of buses that are at school that day.
First we count like normal. Then we sing and count. Then we count in Spanish and then French and then sometimes if I am feeling goofy I will pretend to count in Chinese and of course the kids think it’s hilarious because I actually have no idea how to count in Chinese.
After we count how many students are at school, I tell my students that it’s time to do the most important thing in our whole day.
I am so thankful that I get to teach at a Christian school and can regularly lead my little students to Jesus through prayer.
I sing a little song instructing them to, “Fold your hands. Close your eyes. Bow your heads. Talk to God.”
Then we thank God for each student, our school, my teacher’s assistant, and most of all, we say thanks to God for Jesus!
I try to end our prayers the same way every time so that they catch on quickly.
After we say “Amen,” we sing our Amen song. Which is basically just singing the word Amen over and over and ending with a big hooray! 🙂
At this point, the children are all done with having to sit in a group setting, so we transition to snack time or outdoor play or intentional play. I release them to the next activity by sprinkling them on the head with my Magic Sprinkle Stick.
It’s important to keep group times with toddlers short.
I find that 10-15 minutes works best before someone decides that they would rather roll around on the carpet like a rotisserie.
Or someone has a poopy diaper.
How do you do Morning Meeting in your classroom?
– Julie 🙂