Restorative Circles

A guide to describe what Restorative Circles are and how they work

Using circles to break the ice

If you think you are nervous the first day of class, imagine how students feel.  Before delving into the syllabus and class logistics, it may be well worth it to break the ice.  Helping students get to know you and the class is an important first step to making them feel valued and safe. 

This activity helps the class to get to know each other, as well as feel valued and safe.             

Circle Activity: 

  1. Students are given pens and/or markers.  They can also use the computer to choose four symbols or words that represent five major events or people that have shaped their lives up to the present moment.
  2. They then pair up with one other person to share their symbols.
  3. In the larger group, they share the word or symbol that is most significant for them and why.

After everyone has shared, ask students to think about common threads in their stories and/or what they have learned about the class members over all.

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