Best Practices

Global Youth Service Day 2008


Restorative Practices

Some tips and tricks to consider:

  • Restorative Circle
    Circles should reflect the age/grade of the students (example: Kindergarten -- 5 to 10 minutes). Circles can range from 5 minutes to 20 minutes depending on the topic. Prepare in advance your circle topic or use the "getting acquainted" questions on the back of the Restorative Questions card.
  • Tone
    Set the tone for your community circles. Get JAZZED, excited about a topic that is fun or take on a concerning, caring tone if the topic is more sensitive or serious. Remember, students follow your lead so stay positive.
  • Guidelines
    Use the circle guidelines every time you have a circle. The talking piece is designed to create an equitable space for everyone to be heard. There are posters and cards available that have the guidelines available for you.
  • Sandwich model
    The sandwich model works for any activity. Top bread: intro, review expectations, procedure. Middle Meat/veggies: action in progress, Give positive praise and feedback, redirect as necessary, ensure students are on task. Bottom bread: debrief, reflect give appreciations.
  • Different types of circles
    Remember: circles can vary from sitting in a round on the rug to movement games such as mingle, mingle, mingle. Mix it up a little!
  • Full participation
    As the circle keeper, you should fully participate in the circle process. Sit in the circle with the students not stand on the sideline. Share and let the students get to know you too. Remember this quote- "Students don't care how much you know until they know how much you care!"




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  Student, Family and Community Support DepartmentSan Francisco Unified School District