Updated: Nov 1, 2020
Did you know that we teach much more than letters and their sounds in preschool? The first week of school, we focus on foundational skills that will set a student up to be a good citizen in class. We learn where to put our backpacks, how to take turns, when to talk--and when to listen. We practice lining up, learn how politely ask for things, and how to share toys.
We even learn how to appropriately sit during circle time. There are three ways I teach how to sit. Most people have heard about sitting "criss-cross applesauce", but sitting cross-legged isn't always comfortable for people. Plus, having options is empowering for little people (and big people too!). I keep the options of how to sit to three to keep it simple (options within set parameters is a key to successful classroom management).
Mountains and Mermaids
The next way to earn a "thumbs-up" during circle time is to sit like a "mountain." When you sit like a mountain, your are sitting up tall and hugging your knees. This is a great way to get kids to keep their hands and feet to themselves while I am giving the lesson or reading a story. They might even rock back and forth a little, but as long as they are still upright with their eyes on me, I do not mind.
The last way I teach how to sit is called "mermaid."
In this pose, you tuck your legs behind you, just like a mermaid's tail! Hands are placed in your lap, or to the side for support. Whenever we come to circle time, I look for students who are sitting criss-cross, mountain, or mermaid, and then give them a thumbs-up. I patiently wait for anyone who isn't sitting the right way to pick one of the three ways to sit. Once everyone has their eyes on me, we begin our lesson. This sets the tone for the entire circle time. Students acquire information so much better when they are focused and ready to learn. In our class, we not only learn the foundational skills for reading and writing, but we also learn how to be good listeners.