First Day Idea

We were trained in Restorative Practice Cirles (Talking Circles) this summer. Our entire school is embracing this method of approaching community and resolving conflict. The other day, our trainer said, "When a student feels a part of community, then he or she will want to take responsibility for harming that relationship." I like that harm becomes a mistake that is repairable.

My classroom is small, so instead of cirlces the first day, I thought I would try this approach. Below are two emails I sent to a colleague trained in the method. He said, "I don't know what you mean by concentric circles, but go with your gut." Encouraging, AND, maybe I can get a little more feedback from my MTBoS pals and YOU all can take away a possible ice breaker.

Email 1)
Hi Gene and Jessica,

I want to run concentric circles facing each other on first day, 

Why: Room not large enough for all, outside voices get lost in big groups
Pedagogy: Instead of students meeting his/her "group" meet all as fluidity of first two weeks makes seating charts difficult. Also, everyone will work with everyone, might as well start!

Question: after two or three fun ones, I like Gene's, "what's annoying about social media?" I want to ask, "what does community mean to you? Have them write as few words as possible on a notecard. Read to each other. Then do what Todd did, and ask them to write what that looks like to them. 

This will be the center, like the ones we created. And sets up the norms for keeping the community whole and safe.

What do you think?

Cheers, Amy

Email 2)
Thanks Gene. Concentric circles would be dividing class in half. Half students in inner circle facing out, outer circle of students facing in . Outtsides are "A" inner "B" . A's share, B silent, then switch.  The inner students move  counter clockwise one, then repeat for a few rounds, change questions. 

Hey MTBoSers,

What do you think?

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