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Bilingual Classroom Strategies Tired of the Same Old Roll Call? Liven Up Circle Time with These 10 Fun Ideas!

Tired of the Same Old Roll Call? Liven Up Circle Time with These 10 Fun Ideas!

Taking attendance the same way every day can feel monotonous for both you and the children. Babies might not pay attention, and halfway through circle time, interest could be fading. But fear not! Here are 10 creative ways to vary roll call, save time, and foster a sense of belonging and engagement in your young learners:

Bilingual Circle Time Fun

1. Photo Fun

Place children’s photos on the floor where they’ll sit. As they arrive, each child picks up their photo. When called, they stick it on a board. This helps with classroom management (seating plan) and teaches turn-taking. Even babies who are just walking can participate!

Shuffle it up! Distribute photos randomly. When a child’s photo is called, another child responds “Yes, she is/No, she isn’t here.” This is a great way to practice short answers. Adapt for non-verbal children by using “Point to” or accepting nods.

2. Guessing Game (More Proficient Children)

Take strategy 2 a step further! Turn roll call into a guessing game. A child holds a photo, and the class asks questions to guess who it is. You can ask the questions, or let the children take turns depending on their skills.

3. Name & Photo Tags (3+ Years Old)

Many schools introduce name tags with photos for 3-year-olds. While they’re not yet reading, these tags help children recognize symbols representing their names. Spread the tags around! As circle time starts, children search for theirs, like a pass to enter the circle. This creates excitement and movement. You can also search for absent children’s names, adding movement by breaking the circle.

4. Matching Game

Separate names and photos for a matching game. Each child receives a name and asks their peers “Whose name is it?”. Another chance to practice using complete sentences!

5. Secret Clues

Use a bag or box with name tags. Pull out tags and give clues about the child (“It’s a girl and she’s wearing purple socks“). More proficient children can create the clues. Tags then go to “Present” or “Absent” columns.

6. Coloring the Attendence List

Each present child colors or checks a square on a chart. This introduces counting, visual representation of quantity, and data organization. Use it to practice language like “How many…?” or “Are there more kids present or absent?”

7. Names Only (Recognizable Names)

Transition to tags with only names when children recognize them. This allows you to focus on the first letter sound, name the first or last letter, etc. As their skills progress, have them draw a name and give clues for others to guess.

8. Name Pick-Up Pot

Leave names near the entrance. Children pick their name as they arrive and place it on a board. This saves circle time for other activities.

9. Roll Call List

Leave space on the board or use lined paper for children to write their names as they arrive. This allows for analyzing writing and tracing practice. Can they read the names? Is the writing legible?

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Mixing it Up is Key!

Combine these strategies to keep roll call fresh and work on different learning objectives. This approach keeps circle time engaging and sets the tone for a positive learning experience.

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