Letter of the week and daily calendar are well-known staples of circle time in early childhood education. But there are many experts in the field who feel they’re a waste of time and should be banished. So, what if they have no real value to young children?
That idea gets a lot of pushback from many early childhood teachers, who fervently believe there are good reasons why these practices have “always been done.” But, too often, it’s because they’ve always been done that letter of the week and daily calendar continue to be a presence in many ECE environments.
To discuss this topic, I invited three extremely thoughtful early childhood professionals – Heather Shumaker, Deborah Stewart, and Amanda Morgan – to Studentcentricity. The conversation was lively and informative. Afterwards, Amanda sent this takeaway regarding letter of the week:
Children's minds don't hold information in an alphabetized filing system. It looks more like webbing with meaningful connections. Organizing your content based on meaningful themes rather than letters will be more effective. Focusing on the letter M and doing diverse activities focused on maps, monkeys, museums, and marmalade will not connect as well as exploring one fascinating theme in depth, and emphasizing meaningful language and literacy experiences along the way....