- Have a focus ready. This can be as simple as a question or two. For example, in what way was your week great? In what way was it el-stinko?
- As the adult/leader, I go first and share something that happened to me that the students don't know and that could possibly surprise them. I make sure to emphasize my dorkiness whenever possible. Laughter is good.
- Have lollipops or some other treat to keep the mood light. Gummy bears work great.
- If I really think I may have trouble with participation, I've even added another prop like play-dough so that they can have something to do while they talk about whatever is on their minds.
- When circle time works (and the kids don't think they are being held hostage in some nightmare after school special) then I learn precious many things....how funny they are, how resilient they are, how stressed they sometimes feel, and how much I just enjoy being in their company.
Yes, it's true the the technology education movement is on a meteoric rise and teachers are strongly encouraged to keep their classroom paces cyber-friendly, brisk and efficient. But please, let us not become so web-driven and jaded that we forget to be human with each other....that is, without a doubt, the good stuff.
Which is why, in my not so humble opinion, circle time will always rock.