Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management
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Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management

>>Edwina Smith: Before
I started doing Circles in my class I found it very
difficult to start the academic day. Students had things that they wanted
to share that had happened with them, things they were concerned
about, and I had a very long line of about thirty– twenty-five to
thirty students every morning wanting to share personal time with me. It made it absolutely impossible
to start the academic day. After the presentation of Circles
in our staff development I knew that would be the best way
to have each student share and be heard in the classroom.>>Here at Glenview every
teacher holds Circles for classroom management, for
resolving conflicts and also to involve students in activities. Every day I begin with mindfulness
to really get the students focused and centered and ready for learning.>>I’m going to need you
to either close your eyes or to look gently at the ground.>>The next thing I do
in Circle is a check-in with a scale from one to five. This allows me to assess whether
or not they’re ready to learn.>>Okay, I’m a five and I have a lot
of things I need to get done today, but I’m looking forward
to getting them done. Would anyone else like to
share why you’re a five today?>>Student: Today I’m a five because
I can’t wait for Spirit Week.>>Student: I’m a one because my
head still hurts from Sunday.>>Edwina Smith: In
order to keep order in the circle we use a talking piece,
which is a symbolic piece to signify who has the floor,
who’s able to speak. At the beginning of the year I asked
the students what topics they feel as a class we need to discuss. The students write the topics
and we place them in the cup.>>Oh, our next topic is going
to be about stop bullying. How can you stop bullying?>>Student: Well, I think
since most bullies bully through pain you can try
to see if you can help or make them feel better.>>Student: If you see someone getting
bullied, stand up for that person and tell the bully firmly
and strong to stop bullying.>>Edwina Smith: I like the
idea of not being a bystander, ’cause that’s somewhat being
part of the bullying process if you see it happening
and you don’t say anything. But it takes a lot of
bravery, a lot of courage to say, “Hey, that’s not right.”>>As part of a program
called Restorative Justice, Circles are also used to
resolve conflicts that come up during the school day.>>Student: Sometimes at recess Sidney
and Marnie would come over and, like, just start talking about us and
saying mean things about Denai.>>Teacher: Is it your job to
make Denai’s job at school hard?>>Student: No.>>Teacher: So you choose to either
be the bully that you’re being or to be someone’s ally–>>Student: Okay.>>Teacher: — and make
a better choice.

About James Carlton

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6 thoughts on “Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management

  1. Learn how this simple strategy can build positive behavior + create a safe space for students.

    #socialemotionallearning   #morningcircles   #restorativejustice  

  2. Great video but re the last bit at the end, I don't think that shaming a child and calling them a bully is part of restorative practices.

  3. It was so great up until 3:30, then the teacher shamed and called the student a bully. That is NOT restorative at all!! So disappointing.

  4. Great video…. We are starting class meeting this year and we are going to use this video as a kickoff for our training.

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