Each morning as we begin our day in Pre-K, we gather together to connect as a community. We keep this time short and sweet, predictable yet flexible depending upon the children's varying interests and needs. There is a plethora of information, research and opinions about the developmental appropriateness of having a structured "circle time" in an early childhood classroom. When children's developmental needs are thoughtfully considered, and our adult agendas are suspended we can then plan for moments of connection that are authentic and meaningful for the children.
We strive to make our morning meeting a brief and welcoming ritual. As each child in our class has shifting needs and a fluidity of interests, we are constantly reflecting on the purpose of our meeting and how we can make it meaningful for the children rather than what we think they should hear each morning. This has made our morning meeting ever changing in its structure and content. Most recently what has felt most meaningful to our Pre-K friends has been starting the meeting by reading together a "Morning Message" written on a whiteboard. An example is,
"Good Morning Friends,
Today is Thursday, January 11th. This afternoon you will have P.E.
Our centers this morning have some fun new polar animals for us to explore together! Have a kind and loving day.
Love, Ms. Emily and Ms. Colette"
This is not necessarily a structure we would use for every class at this age, however after reading one morning message together a couple of weeks ago this group of children really enjoyed and connected to it. So, for now it is how we are beginning our morning together. Who knows how long this will be the most meaningful way to start our day? Being open to uncertainty and flexible in our thinking, are important skills we strive to support in each child and in ourselves as teachers and individuals.
~ Ms. Bachofner, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher