Square Roots Preschool employs a play-based curriculum, where we are always playing, but always learning. Although we move around quite a lot, we do ask that our students spend some time sitting. Being able to sit still is a big challenge for children between the ages of three and five, but it’s a necessary one. And children should be challenged in order to grow.
So when it’s time to sit down and listen during circle time, our students plant their pockets on their own fun, colored mats. The mats help them focus their physical presence, saying “this is where I belong right now.” Although they are asked to sit still and listen for a few minutes at a time, these periods are punctuated with a lot of movement in different forms. Most things we teach during circle time are accompanied by song. Music is both a tool to help with learning (like that commercial jingle you can’t get out of your head) and a good excuse to get up and move. As we’re learning the months of the year or the color of the week, the children have the opportunity to participate by singing and acting out specific movements that go with each song.
And then they plop back down for a few minutes to sit still and listen.
And then we’re back up singing the “jump up and down” song.
So even though we’re asking the students to sit at brief intervals throughout their day, we make sure they get their wiggles out. We keep things moving. When young students are given opportunities to move throughout the day, their “sitting still” time is much more successful, which not only helps them build this skill so necessary for life, but helps them build self confidence.