In many Montessori classrooms around Australia and internationally a part of the day will be dedicated to ‘circle time’ or group time. Every environment’s group time or circle time will be conducted a different time of the day. Some schools don’t do circle time at all.
During circle time different topics will be discussed and presented to the children. Topics will vary from seasons to, families, to farms, to North America, to dinosaurs and many more. There is an endless list of possible themes that can be discussed but the choosing of topics will depend on the class age, maturity and ability to retain information.
The length of the themes that the topics are discussed depends upon the themes itself, for example the North American theme contains lots more than the families theme. It also depends on the children in your environment and their particular interests at the time.
At I AM Montessori we create monthly themes for our educators to use in circle time or group time. We have learnt about food, dinosaurs, seasons, occupations and even ‘The Gift of Giving’.
In our monthly themes, we discuss facts about the theme during circle time. We always include printouts, activities for the Montessori shelves, group activities, songs and stories relating to theme chosen.
Monthly themes in our classrooms help to develop the interest and knowledge of the child. By having monthly themes in our classrooms we demonstrate to children all about the world around us and the world we live in! Most children don’t realise that there is a bid world around us, they are egocentric, meaning that they only see the her and now and they only ‘their world’!
By implementing monthly themes in our classrooms we try to broaden their horizons with different topics!
Monthly themes can be chosen according to a number of different aspects. For example, the child’s interests at the time, what’s happening around the world at a particular time (e.g. earthquake, dinosaur exhibition, season of summer), or what’s happening in a child’s life (e.g. starting primary school or a new baby in the house).
Themes can be as big as North America or a smaller topic like clouds!
By doing monthly themes we are hoping to instil a love for that subject and for the child to extract and retain as much information as they can about all the themes!
If the theme is delivered correctly any child should take away some learning from it!
By doing important global topics such as the continents we hope to spark awareness of the world we live in! By delivering a theme of the solar system we hope to develop an understanding of planets, stars, our planets and the larger aspect of the world we live in. By doing a theme about trees we hope to enhance a child’s love of nature and to develop and enhance a respect and love for nature!
Monthly topics help to keep both the educators and the children stay focused during circle time and maintain educators and children excitement about our world!