December 2016

Practical Tips for Teachers: Open Circle in Assemblies

A school assembly provides an opportunity for leaders to foster a sense of community among students and staff. Fortunately, incorporating Open Circle into assemblies can be easy AND fun! Below are a few ideas:
  1. Choose monthly themes based on Open Circle skills or vocabulary:
    • Students use themes to develop and share creative works of art (skits, raps, songs, stories, or artwork)
    • Classes collaborate to write Open Circle-themed song; the music teacher helps students put words to music; and classes perform their songs
  2. Administrator reads an Open Circle book aloud (such as Crazy Hair Day) while teachers or students act it out
  3. Teacher leads the whole school in Open Circle's rainstorm activity (outlined in the Open Circle Curriculum)
Let us know what other ideas you have. We'd love to share them!

Open Circle and the “Second Period” - Practicing Social and Emotional Skills, by Jeff Kishpaugh, Lead Teacher at Montessori Community School in Durham, NC


One of the things I am interested in as an educator (and a person who cares about children) is: how can we give children the opportunity to practice the skills that we introduce in Open Circle? How can we offer an opportunity for practice as a bridge to being able to apply new concepts and skills in students’ everyday lives at school and beyond? I like to think of this period of practice as equivalent to the “Second Period” of Montessori education.

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The Power and Purpose of Post-Election Relationships


Collaborating States Initiative

One of the central themes of the work we do at Open Circle is relationship building. Developing and nurturing positive and meaningful relationships in schools within the adult community, among the student body and between adults and students is the foundation for creating a learning environment in which everyone feels cared for, can be their best self and do their best learning.

In these post-election times, keeping the focus on relationships is even more important.

Read more

Open Circle Training Programs


Register now for our Specialist Workshop on February 9, 2017.

We have revised this trainer program. Trainers have the flexibility to deliver Open Circle training to any number of new and existing school staff, now at a lower price! Check out our updated Train-the-Trainer web page and contact us with any questions.

This program is designed for current Open Circle schools that would like to develop a customized plan to sustain and grow Open Circle. Our Sustainability Program helps schools form a diverse team of people to create an in-school SEL Team that sets and monitors their own goals.

Children's Books: Books of Good Will toward All


Welcome a new year with hope and gratitude with these book titles. These stories remind us of the power of positive relationships, inclusion, empathy, and kindness to change lives for the better.

See our new list of books

NEW Materials

2015 Open Circle Curriculum

Curriculum Kit

Presentation Kits: Introduce Open Circle and chidren's books related to SEL to families and caregivers with these easy-to-use electronic kits ($100 each):

Family & Community Workshop 

Literature Workshop

LGBTQ Students Safe Schools Program in MA

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, in partnership with the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth, has developed a Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students.

The Guidance on Supporting Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Students document contains concrete examples and recommended school responses spanning multiple grade-levels and scenarios.

NEW: Gratitude Curriculum Component

Studies show that gratitude is positively related to hope, forgiveness, pride, contentment, optimism, and inspiration.

Through funding support from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley and the Templeton Foundation, we have developed gratitude activities and literature lists for grades K-5, as well as gratitude lessons for grades 4 and 5.

This gratitude curriculum component, including a new skill mini-poster, is available as a free download on our website.

We hope you and your students enjoy these new materials on grateful thinking!
Copyright © 2016 Open Circle, All rights reserved.

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