What Is an Assembly in Early Childhood Education?
Routines are very important during childhood education, and school schedules tend to be structured around them. Here we'll talk about the purpose and benefits of having routine assemblies.
Many parents surely ask themselves: “What is an assembly in early childhood education?” Almost certainly, those who ask this question are the parents who are taking their children to preschool for the first time.
The assembly in early childhood education refers to a resource and an activity in itself, but at the same time, it entails a series of tasks. Let’s see what it consists of, specifically.
What is an assembly in early childhood education?
It’s a methodology that is carried out daily in schools, both at the beginning and at the end of the school day. Its main objective is to make room for dialogue and reflection between children and their teachers.
Consequently, it implies a concrete disposition of the children. They must sit in a circle, as in an assembly, with the teacher as a counselor or moderator.
It’s about motivating children to put into play the development of their linguistic, cognitive, and social skills each day. They do this through an array of tasks and activities.
Each day, the assembly will allow the children to greet each other, recognize the day of the week, and talk about their experiences and needs. Teachers will present the tasks and activities that they’ll develop during the school day.
These activities will be related to the didactic unit or centers of interest that are being worked on in the class. However, in case the assembly takes place at the end of the day, they’ll talk about the learning experiences.
Therefore, through a range of activities, the assembly is an ideal methodology to get children to learn various things. These include autonomy, acquisition and correct use of language, an extension of vocabulary, etc. By internalizing norms and actively listening, they’ll respect each person’s turn to speak and their words.
In short, the assembly encourages expression, communication, and socialization. It helps and motivates children to participate and express their experiences and emotions to other classmates and teachers. Thus, it contributes to the reinforcement of values such as companionship, solidarity, and empathy.
Activities carried out in an assembly in early childhood education
Up next, we’ll list some of the activities and tasks that can take place in an assembly.
Children can say good morning and introduce themselves. A fun activity could be to remind their classmates of the vowels that are present in their names when they present themselves.
Identify the date of the day
In an almanac, they must mark the corresponding day with colored circles. Thus, they learn and review the numbers and also learn the months of the year and their order.
Tell their classmates about the previous day
The kids can say if they went to the park, anecdotes, or what they had for dinner last night, for example. This information can be used to introduce an activity in relation to food, the types that exist, and where they come from; they can also talk about the importance of eating well.
Make an atmospheric log
Children can write in a diary how the day was, whether it was sunny, cloudy, or rainy; they can even make drawings. Moreover, they can also write down and draw if it’s summer, autumn, winter, or spring; thus learning the seasons of the year.
Review the rules
You can write them on a poster or mural with drawings that the students make themselves. These rules can be: say hello when entering and leaving class, raise your hand to speak, wait for your turn to speak, call out if you need to use the bathroom, say thank you, ask for forgiveness and apologize, give hugs, clean up after playing, among others.
Talk about what they’ll learn during the day
Considering the teaching unit or the corresponding center of interest, you can tell the children, for example, that today they’ll learn about animals that live in the water. After that, you can ask them questions, such as: “Do you know any?” “Do you know how they breathe?” “What size do you think they can be?”
These questions can serve to know the previous knowledge that children have on the subject. Additionally, it can be a valid everyday activity for all subjects, teaching units, workshops, or centers of interest that they work on.
More activities you can carry out in an assembly in early childhood education
Distribute tasks and organize the group
A good idea is to distribute tasks, even if they’re simple; such as: “Ivan, stand in front and let me know when your classmates wish to speak,” or “Clara, today you are in charge of keeping the board very clean.”
It’s always good for them to assume some responsibility and to be praised if they do well, once the school day is over.
Store and put everything in its place
Since the assembly is also valid to end the school day, an activity they can do before leaving class is a daily organizing routine. At the rhythm of a song, children should order and store toys, accommodate chairs, pick up things from the floor, look for their backpacks and coats, etc.
Things to keep in mind regarding the assembly in early childhood education
The duration and characteristics of the assembly in early childhood education will depend on the peculiarity of the group of students. Therefore, the assembly must be flexible and adapt to the circumstances of the day, interests, and the needs and particularities; both of the class, in general, and of each of its members, in particular.