Preschool Zoom? If you’d said those words to me a year ago, I’d probably assume you were talking about a picture book about cars. Teaching during a pandemic is wild, but we can do it! Now that school is underway, I feel more confident sharing what does work, not just what should work. Learning how to teach remotely has a learning curve, but circle time over zoom is a blast. This Zoom routine for preschool is a good fit for my school and my class. It might not the perfect fit for yours. Either way, I hope this post helps you develop a routine that works for you. Before your zoom starts, welcome each child in one at a time, saying a quick hello. “Hi Fatima, hello Tavion!” even if their video is off, which should always be available as an option, still wave and smile with a quick hello.
Virtual Prek Circle Time Routine
This post contains affiliate links.
Good Morning Song
I use the good morning song I have used for years. It’s a great way to include children because it uses each child’s name. Seeing their faces light up as I sing their name is why I love teaching, even over zoom. Click here to watch the video of my preschool, good morning song.
Question of The Day
The next part of my preschool zoom circle time is when my puppet sidekick Quinn asks the question of the day. In this photo, you can see he has a little speech-bubble that I write the question on each day. This question guides the lesson. It helps to anchor the lesson as well as we explore all the ways to answer this question of the day.
But First… Calendar
But… before we answer the question, we do a quick and simplified calendar. I have simplified the calendar because, for one, I want to keep the zoom under 20 minutes, and two calendar is pretty abstract for kids this age, especially when they can’t come up and manipulate the calendar that they could in a physical classroom. There is no pocket chart calendar for them to explore in a meaningful way over zoom.
So what is meaningful? I decided that finding out what day it is meaningful. Since our zooms always happen on Tuesday and Thursday that may be meaningful words for my students. Here’s the thing, I want to make sure my students aren’t just sitting and passively watching me try to channel my inner Mr. Rogers for 20 minutes. I want them to be moving and active too. So For this simplified calendar, we sing the days of the week song with actions. See a video of my song on Instagram here.
Next, we check the weather. I ask my students to look out their windows and to sing the weather song with me. At the end of the song, they repeat the action for their weather forecast. The child of the week gets to decide what weather picture ( sunny, windy, rain, or cloudy) I pop on the board. Need a good weather song? Get the lyrics and actions for mine here.
The Lesson for Preschool Zoom
Next, we go back to the question of the day. For this, I use a book and a fun lesson that helps to answer the question. Earlier this week, the question was, “What gives our body it’s shape?” and we looked at some x-rays with our light tablet ( I bought mine here), then read Head to Toe by Eric Carle doing the actions together as well read.
After we’ve answered the question, we sing together. For my students, this is where I unmute them. As we get comfy and used to this, I want them to focus on me. In a week or so, we will start sharing more, and they will be unmuted for as much as possible.
I try to sing a song that supports the lesson and a song that gets my students moving. Depending on the amount of time left, I add in favorites or requests.
I use the same goodbye song every day on zooms and on my recorded lessons. This helps to tie up the lesson and offers my students some predictability.
How are you structuring your virtual circle time routines? I’d love to hear about it.
If you are teaching remotely inexpensive printable materials, you can use for packets to send home is a must. My printable thematic units are filled with precisely what you need. Appropriate for Preschool through Prek, these digital downloads are packed with ideas you can use for remote learning or in-person preschool. Check out my whole library here.