• Prompting Questions/ Restorative Topics for Circles (Every Monday in ELA groups)

     

    Please note: It is always important to carefully select which questions or topics to pose to the group depending on the needs of the group. The health of each member of the circle is always to be strongly considered.

    *Be prepared and know that some of the circle prompts may bring up a lot of emotions for the circle members.

     

    Getting Acquainted

    • Share a happy childhood memory.
    • If you could be a superhero, what super powers would you choose and why?
    • How would your best friend describe you?
    • What would you not want to change about your life?
    • If you could talk to someone from your family who is no longer alive, who would it be and why?
    • If you had an unexpected free day, what would you like to do?
    • If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
    • Name two things or people who always make you laugh.
    • I like to collect….
    • If you could have a face to face conversation with anyone, who would it be and why?
    • Describe your ideal job.
    • Describe your favorite vacation.
    • If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?

     

    Exploring Values

    • Imagine you are in conflict with a person who is important in your life. What values do you want to guide your conduct as you try to work out hat conflict?
    • What is your passion?
    • What do you keep returning to in your life?
    • What touches your heart?
    • What gives you hope?
    • What demonstrates respect?
    • What change would you like to see in your community? What can you do to promote that change?
    • A time when you acted on your core values even though others were not.

     

    Storytelling from our lives to share who we are and what has shaped us (to build community)

    Invite participants to share:

    • A time when you and to let go of control
    • A time when you were outside of your comfort zone
    • An experience in your life when you “made lemonade out of lemons”.
    • An experience of transformation when, out of a crisis or difficulty, you discovered a gift in your life.
    • An experience of causing harm to someone and then dealing with it in a way you felt good about.
    • An experience of letting go of anger or resentment.
    • A time when you were in conflict with your parents or caregiver.
    • An experience where you discovered that someone was very different from the negative assumptions you first made about that person.
    • An experience of feeling that you did not fit in.

     

    Relating to Curriculum:

    • The best/worst thing about this science project is…
    • The main character in the book we are reading is like/not like me when…
    • These math problems make me feel…

     

    Additional Potential Circle Starters:

    1.      I feel happy when…

    2.      I feel sad when…

    3.      I feel angry when…

    4.      I feel scared when…

    5.      I feel excited when…

    6.      I feel stressed when…

    7.      I feel alone when…

    8.      The scariest thing…

    9.      My favorite hobby…

    10.  My favorite pet…

    11.  My favorite food is…

    12.  My favorite T.V. show is…

    13.  My favorite weekend activity is…

    14.  My favorite song is…

    15.  My favorite sport is…

    16.  My favorite color is…

    17.  My favorite weather is…

    18.  Rain makes me feel…

    19.  Wind makes me feel…

    20.  Sunshine makes me feel…

    21.  I feel happy when…

    22.  I feel sad when…

    23.  I feel angry when…

    24.  I feel scared when…

    25.  I feel excited when…

    26.  I feel stressed when…

    27.  I feel alone when…

    28.  The scariest thing…

    29.  My favorite hobby…

    30.  My favorite pet…

    31.  My favorite food is…

    32.  My favorite T.V. show is…

     

    33.  My favorite weekend activity is…

    34.  My favorite song is…

    35.  My favorite sport is…

    36.  My favorite color is…

    37.  My favorite weather is…

    38.  Rain makes me feel…

    39.  Wind makes me feel…

    40.  Sunshine makes me feel…

    41.  Snow makes me feel…

    42.  Fog makes me feel…

    43.  Today I feel…

    44.  When I think of blue, I think of…

    45.  When I think of red, I think of…

    46.  When I think of green, I think of…

    47.  When I think of yellow, I think of…

    48.  When I think of black, I think of…

    49.  When I think of brown, I think of…

    50.  When I think of white, I think of…

    51.  If I were an animal, I would be…

    52.  If I were a famous actor/actress, I would be …

    53.  If I were a famous athlete, I would be…

    54.  When I graduate from high school, I want to …

    55.  When I become an adult, I want to…

    56.  When I start my career, I want to …

    57.  I can’t wait until…

    58.  Friends are …

    59.  Families are…

    60.  Putdowns make me feel…

    61.  Appreciations make me feel…

     

     
     

    Please make sure your child reads something each night.  The practice of reading at home will greatly impact your child's learning in the classroom.  Please have them read by themselves, you read with them, and/or you read to them. 

    After reading, please ask your child questions about the story or text they read.  This helps build comprehension skills that will also greatly benefit your child's learning at school.


     
     

    Please make sure your child practices writing at home.  The practice of writing at home will greatly impact your child's learning in the classroom.  If you can, please allow them to practice typing on the computer as well.

    To help with writing, please ask your child questions and have them write down/type their answers.  For example: tell me about your day, tell me about the book you are reading, let’s write a story…, etc...  This helps build better writing skills that will also greatly benefit your child's learning at school.

     

    Familiar Reading-

    • Each child has their own familiar reading area with books on their level. Students participate in repeated oral reading of known texts to apply and practice the use of decoding skills recently taught and to develop fluency with known spelling patterns and sight words.  Texts provide sufficient independent practice at the appropriate level for students to develop fluency. 
    • **I will be assessing during this time. I will be listening to students read and making notes of reading behaviors. This time provides critical information to me about your child's reading.

    Word Study

    • "Word study" is an alternative to traditional spelling instruction. It is based on learning word patterns rather than memorizing unconnected words.

    Reading Workshop

    • Teacher Read Aloud: I will select a book, poem, or text and read it aloud to the class in a whole group setting. During this time, I will model for the students best practices in reading. This is a time where students are actively listening and taking note of the strategies I use and apply them while he/she reads.
    • Mini lesson: During each mini lesson, I will introduce a specific concept, also known as the teaching point. Most often the teaching point will focus on a reading strategy or skill.  I will explicitly model or demonstrate the skill for the students. Students then get a chance to practice the skill or strategy on their own or with a partner.  This part of the mini-lesson is called the active engagement.

    • Independent Reading/Guided Reading:
      • Guided Reading: While the majority of the class is reading or working independently, I will work with a small group of students on different reading skills. Each student has their own text and I work with the group to target a specific reading strategy or skill.
      • Independent Reading: During guided reading the remaining students in the class are reading text on their own or completing unfinished classwork. This is a time for students to practice and apply the strategies learned in whole group and small group lessons. Students select text based on their reading level and use sticky notes to tag their reflections, make graphic organizers, or other active reading activities. At the end of independent reading, I will meet with 3-4 students to discuss their reflections. Conferring with students is a powerful tool for finding out what students are thinking as well as the strategies they are employing.
    • Closing Meeting: The closing meeting is a time when the class comes back together and students share the strategies they used during independent reading or reflections/understandings gained about new strategies.  It is a final check for me to see that students are understanding the reading objective during their independent reading.

    Writing Workshop

    • We follow the Empowering Writers curriculum for writing.  Feel free to visit www.empoweringwriters.com.
    • Mini lesson: I will teach a short lesson on a specific writing strategy (includes modeled writing)
    • Student Writing Practice:
      • Students will practice writing with the specific writing strategy taught during the mini lesson. Steps of the writing process should be followed: prewrite, draft, revise, edit, and publish (Students are not expected to complete each step each day. Rather, these steps will be taught over the course of an entire unit.) Several weeks will be spent using the writing process in order to publish a piece of writing (At least one piece of writing in each genre-based unit will be taken through the entire writing process and published.)
    • Share:
      • Students share their work with a friend or in a larger group

     

     

     

    Writer's Checklist

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    1. Look at the ideas in your response. 
    __ Did you use a topic sentence?
    __ Have you focused on one main idea?
    __ Have you used enough details to explain yourself?
    __ Have you put your thoughts in order?
    __ Can others understand what you are saying?
    __ Did you end with a conclusion sentence? (Hint: Make sure to wrap it up, write your opinion, or tell what you learned.)

    2. Think about what you want others to know and feel after reading your paper. 
    __ Will others understand how you think or feel about an idea?
    __ Will others feel angry, sad, happy, surprised, or some other way about your response?
    __ Do you have sentences of different lengths?
    __ Are your sentences alike? (Hint: Use different kinds of sentences?

    3. Look at the words you have used. 
    __ Have you described things, places, and people the way they are? (Hint: Use enough detail.)
    __ Are you the same person all the way through your paper? (Hint: Check your verbs and are they all past or present)
    __ Have you used the right words in the right places?

    4. Look at your handwriting. 
    __ Can others read your handwriting with no trouble?
    __ Did you capitalize and use punctuation marks?
    __ Is there space between your words?