Circle time– Every Friday one student in my Pre-k class would volunteer to lead circle time. It was the student’s choice. I asked students that did not have a chance to lead the group if they wanted to be the leader, I never insisted that they did so. I would sit on the floor in the circle time area while the student led the group. It was surprising the activities that they came up with to review the colors, they were unique and something that I hadn’t done before in circle time.
Reading– When I first started as a teacher in Early Childhood I was the only teacher in the class. The Co-teacher team had not been implemented at that time. So I needed time to set up for the next activity. And sense I wanted everything out and ready when the students came to the table it took bit longer.
I have always encouraged my students to read the pictures in a book even at age 4. So I would give one student a book, seat them on a chair, while the other students sat around them. I had them read a story to the class while I set up the next project. This took some leadership skills for the student because there were students who chose to talk and play during the session. I would step in when needed, but the student always controlled the group using respectful wording.
This helped the students learn the importance of literature, how to hold a book and turn the pages from left to right and how to create a story based on pictures. (Pre-reading skills)
Songs- During potty breaks the students also helped me by leading a song to the group, while I supervised students during potty time. A student volunteered to do songs with the group. The student pick the songs that they wanted to sing. Often times they would have other students pick songs as well.
This allowed the students to work from memory on songs that were originally introduced and to sing melodically with each other without my assistance.
Class Leaders– I know most of you have heard or even used line leaders and teacher helpers in your classrooms. But my students had more responsibilities when it came to these classroom jobs.
My line leaders not only lead the lines to outside play, but they were responsible for lining the students up that were sitting on the carpet ready for outside time. This included having them get their jackets on and sitting quietly with their hands in their lap.
When students are allow take charge of their environment it gives them the opportunity to see how the teacher feels in those same situations, reinforcing self respect and respect for others, it also teaches them the importance of class expectations.
But most importantly it makes them a part of a community that is designed for them.