3. Listening Skills - essential to positive circletime. Throughout the round children need to give full attention to each person as they have their turn.
* Paired listening - turn to a partner and have one or two minutes to act as speaker and then listener. In the round say one thing you have learned about your partner.
* Hand round one sentence completion card for children to complete if they want to. Everyone listens and focusses on each person in turn.
* A story round - start of a story about an object (a toy bear, a crystal, a magic stone etc.). As the object is handed on each person adds a sentence to the story. No pressure to speak but a requirement to attend and listen.
4. A Supportive Group - this creates a safe environment to deal with more challenging issues and has a major effect on the ethos of the class.
* The friendly circle - pass round the hand of friendship, the magic touch, a hug or a back rub. This creates a friendly circle. Start * ‘Special Time’. (see below & free guide)
* Say one positive thing about your neighbour.
* Build a positive profile for one person. Record positive comments for that person to keep.
* Build a language for affirmation. Think about snowball words and glow words for melting them away. Brainstorm put downs and affirmations.
* Book-making. The books can be made in circletime with the teacher acting as ‘scribe’. ‘How to make a friendly circle’, ‘How to make a happy class’ .... etc.
5. Sharing - thoughts, ideas and feelings.
* Use cards that show ‘feelings faces’. Children choose a card to show how they are feeling. Next, those who want to can say more about their feeling. Avoid making value judgements about any feeling. Just accept each one.
* Brainstorm children’s ideas about any issue that needs addressing
* Set personal goals and make ‘I will....’ statements. Review in a later circletime.
* Discuss friendship - qualities of friendship, ways of building positive relationships.
6. Circle Games - Elephant and Palm Tree, Safe Circle, Pass the Person, Lap Roll, Spot the Leader. (See Links’ ‘ Co-operative and Circletime Games’ book)
7. School Citizenship. Brainstorm, vote on issues. Formulate class and playground rules. Review the rules. Think about bullying and mediation skills. Think about the burdens and benefits of any action. Does your goal or choice work for you but harm somebody else?
8. Global Citizenship - Looking outwards towards the wider community. Children who have experienced school citizenship are better equipped to understand interdependence and global responsibility. Vote on issues and engaging in ‘plan, do review on issues of concern.
9. The Closing Circle After each circletime it is helpful to end with a closing circle to finish with a reflection or activity to create a positive and calm state of mind.
*For more details on circletime and ‘special time’ see ‘The Co-operative Classroom’ pack and our ‘Circletime Resource Kits’ of laminated cards and ideas.