Restorative Justice Practices Circle
The circle is a classroom activity that establishes a strong and supportive relationship among students and teachers in the classroom, and promotes connectedness, empathy, and honesty. It gives students a chance to tell their stories and to participate in the classroom setting in a way that diverts from the traditional classroom structure.
The circle integrates Common Core through Explicit Language Instruction. This includes attention to:
- Accuracy of comprehension (listening and reading) and production (speaking and writing)
- The demands of audience, task, purpose and discipline (discourse style and register)
- Language choices and the development of meta-cognitive awareness – knowing how one thinks and learns.
Restorative Justice Program Circle Example:
Purpose: To help participants think about the elements of relationships that bring positive benefits in their lives.
Mindfulness Moment: Pause, breathe and listen to the sound.
Group Check–in: How are you doing? Is there anything in particular on your mind that is important for us to know and that you feel comfortable sharing with the group?
Main Activity: Identifying behaviors that makes you an others feel positive. Ask each person to brainstorm for five minutes about the following three questions and to write them down in their journal. Share out with the circle.
- What do you do in your relationships with other people in your life that makes them happy, peaceful and joyful?
- What do other people do for you that make you happy, peaceful and joyful?
- Can you describe to us one relationship in your life that you consider to be a healthy relationship?
Group Check-out: In two words or less, how did you like the circle today?