Teach Expectations Daily

This is crucial! In the beginning of the year,choose your 4-5 expectations and start to teach them and review the EVERYDAY! Ideally, your students develop the expectations so that they take more ownership over the circle. When I first start my circles, I like to introduce one expectation a day and then have the kids practice that expectation that day. I find it useful to stop the circle every once in a while and point out a kid that is meeting the expectation. If someone isn’t, I use them as an example of what it looks like not to meet expectations and then thank them for providing the example for the class. One of the keys to creating ownership over the circle and the expectations is have the kids repeat the expectations and the reasons for them every day.
Examples of expectations that we use in grades 4-6:
- Only talk with the talking piece
- Use proper body language (no yawning, slouching, tapping shoes, etc..)
- Show proper empathy (laugh when appropriate, be sad when appropriate)
- Don’t devalue others
- What’s said in the circle, stays in the circle (builds trust)
- Be mindful of others- Be honest