A Circle Time and some Maths

We’ve started back with lessons and trying to get back into the swing of a new daily rhythm. This new ‘academic’ *cough* year has brought its new challenges already. Nin is all fired up and ready to go, loves singing and dancing and playing the recorder and learning new things. Ted… well, lets just say that Ted likes bouncing around a lot and making quite a bit of noise, typically whilst Nin is trying to concentrate.

So it’s been a case of re-evaluating, constantly, trying to see how to balance the needs of both of them and this has led to Ted being given a bowl of gemstones and his own (very basic) sums on a slate to look at whilst Nin is working, because he’s adamant that he should do it as well and very well he is doing, too, although I wouldn’t think that it was particularly ideal, but for him, in his final Kindergarten year, it’s a game and he does it for a little, quietly and it seems to soothe something within him before he wanders off to do his own thing (leaving Nin in further peace).

I’ve noted the Circle Time, below, although it has changed from the one I originally wrote. Some verses/songs just didn’t seem to flow ‘right’ and I ended up dropping them after a couple of days.

Late August/September:

Good morning dear Earth and good morning dear Sun.
Good morning dear stones and dear flowers everyone.
Good morning dear beasts and dear birds in the tree.
Good morning to you and good morning to me.



Here is a tree with leaves so green, (stretch out arms like a tree and wriggle fingers)
Here are the apples that hang in between, (ball hands like apples hanging from the branches)
When the wind blows the apples will fall. (sway from side to side and drop to the ground)
Here is a basket to gather them all. (cradle arms like a basket and stand up)

(sung to the tune of “Rock-a-bye Baby”)


Ten little squirrels sat in a tree (wriggle fingers and thumbs upright)
The first two said, “Why, what do we see?” (wriggle thumbs)
The second two said, “A man with a gun.” (wriggle first fingers)
The third two said, “Let’s run! Let’s run!” (etc)
The fourth two said, “Let’s hide in the shade.”(etc)
The fifth two said, “Why? We’re not afraid.”(etc)
Then “BANG!” went the gun and away they all ran! (clap hands on the ‘bang’ and hide fingers behind back)


In small green cup an acorn grew,
On tall and stately oak.
The spreading leaves, the secret knew,
And hid it like a cloak.

The breezes rocked it tenderly,
The sunbeams whispered low,
“Some day the smallest acorn here,
Will make an oak, you know.”

(Sung with actions, too)


Oats and beans and barley grow.
Oats and beans and barley grow.
Do you or I or anyone know
How oats and beans and barley grow?

First the farmer sows his seed,
Then he stands and takes his ease,
Stamps his feet and claps his hands
And turns around to view the lands.

Oats and beans [etc]

Next the farmer waters the seed,
Stands erect and takes his ease,
He stamps his foot and claps his hands,
And turns around to view his lands.

Oats and beans [etc]

Next the farmer hoes the weeds,
Stands erect and takes his ease,
He stamps his foot and claps his hands,
And turns around to view his lands.

Oats and beans [etc]

Last the farmer harvests his seed,
Stands erect and takes his ease,
He stamps his foot and claps his hands,
And turns around to view his lands.

Oats and beans [etc]

(Dance in a circle for chorus. Act out actions in the verses)


On Monday I will LEAP up high,
Then STAND and STRETCH UP to the sky.
On Tuesday I will CROUCH down low,
Then like a flower SLOWLY GROW.
Until on Wednesday, I’m so tall
That I can climb right up the wall.
On Thursday I will SKIP around,
Then slowly CURL UP on the ground.
On Friday I will BEND MY KNEES,
Then GALLOP off among the trees.
On Saturday I’m going to HOP
Then SPIN AROUND just like a top.
On Sunday, I will NOD my head
A day of rest, it’s often said.


One step to the LEFT I readily take,
And one to the RIGHT I also make.
A step to the FRONT I take with great speed:
To step to the BACK more courage I need.
My arms I stretch UP high from the ground,
And make a half circle by SWINGING them round.
A straight line I make from hand to hand,
Then DOWN to the ground where I do stand.


Clap up, clap down,
Clap behind, clap before,
Clap up, clap down,
As you did before.

We now generally play some maths games, currently times tables. This involves clapping, hopping, using percussion instruments, etc, to mark out the times tables, eg. 1, 2, *hop*, 4, 5, *hop*. Sometimes I’ll do one times table, whilst Nin does another, thus showing how tables relate to each other.

This then leads to:

Open them, close them
Stretch them in the air.
Open them, close them,
Place them on your hair.
Open them, close them,
Give a little clap.
Open them, close them,
Place them on your lap.

After this we move on to ‘sit down’ work with maths. Then we’ll move on to playing the recorder and then a story follows and our Main Lesson is done.

Of course we do plenty of activities outside of this, but that is how our morning looks after breakfast, sometimes preparing bread, washing-up and putting a load of washing in the machine.


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