Circle Preview

Routine Essentials: Circle - Preview

Activities, Ideas & Supports for the Circle Routine

Review the activities below and then use the links to the right to download visual supports for each activity.

Activities / IdeasMaterials Provided

Monthly Theme Activity

Print circle activities from identified monthly theme. 

Circle Mini Schedule

Provide a visual sequence of circle activities.  Use the “circle activity icons” placed on a large chart or bulletin board. After each activity is completed, remove the icon from the chart and go to the next activity. 

Individual Mini Schedule

If a student is having difficulty sitting at circle for the entire circle, have him/her join for just the last few minutes. This way the student completes the routine successfully with his/her peers. Over time, increase the amount of time the student joins circle.

  • Instructions for Student Mini Schedule
  • Circle Activity Icons
  • Student Mini Schedule

Behavior Supports

  • Use a token reinforcement system (paired with a visual of expected student behavior) to encourage sitting, attending and participating.
  • Use behavior support icons for students needing extra support following directions and participating in cirlce. Example: if student is unable to sit with only a verbal direction, show the student the "sit down" icon.
  • Behavior Supports

Visual Song Books / Song Supports

Provide a visual song book and/or supports to encourage students to participate in the singing activity.

  • Print books front to back, flip on short edge, print landscape
  • Fold paper in half, staple
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Wheels on the Bus
  • Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
  • If You're Happy and You Know It
  • Five Little Monkeys Finger Puppets

Choice Wheel

Provide 6-8 song choices and students take turns choosing a song.

Who's Here Today

  • Provide photos of all students and adults.  Students put photos under the correct category.
  • Students match their written name to their photo on the "Who's Here Today" chart (use the first or last name depending on level of student).
  • Who's Here Today Chart

Classroom Jobs

Students choose or are assigned a daily classroom job.

  • Classroom Job Chart
  • Job Chart

Circle Rules

Throughout circle, use visual reminders of behavioral expectations. Provide positive reinforcement when students comply with expectations.  Catch students doing it right and provide verbal and tangible reinforcement for following circle expectations.  Tell students “what to do” versus “what not to do.”  Example: “Sit in the chair” instead of “Stop running around the room.”

Generalize Skills Previously Learned

  • Post the generalization chart near the circle area to remind instructors to provide multiple opportunities for students to practice previously learned skills.
  • Write specific skills targeted for generalization on the student generalization form.  Note: Student Generalization Form is a fillable form.  Download form to desktop prior to typing into template.
  • Generalization Chart
  • Student Generalization Form (fillable form)

For students who are just learning to sit at circle:

  • Keep circle short! Limit circle to two or three activities with at least one activity that includes student participation. Example: sing a song, blow bubbles (each student has own bubble jar) and circle ends.
  • Provide a preferred item for the student to hold during circle. Identify 2-3 target skills (sharing, pointing to the activity icon, imitating object/motor movements). Occasionally take the preferred item from the student. Once the student performs the target skill, immediately return the preferred item to the student.

Provide Visual Representation of Upcoming Events

During calendar, add visuals of special events ocurring during the month. Discuss these upcoming monthly events to help prepare students for the special activities. Read books or sing songs related to the activity. 

  • Special Event Notice- Coming Soon!

Collect Data

Use the Circle Routine data form (STAR Blackline Master Books/CD) to identify difficult steps of the routine for additional instruction.