During the last ten minutes of each school day, we have what is commonly called circle time or group time. Circle time is a dynamic interaction among students and teachers. These classroom meetings provide time for listening to each other and helping to solve problems which have been identified by either the teacher or students. Issues and problems can be identified by brainstorming ways to make the school a better place to learn and live. The idea is to make sure that at least one positive suggestion is agreed on before circle time ends.

It is also a time to celebrate our successes: a chance for students to thank each other, tell about acts of kindness, and learn how any current or historical events impact our lives. This past week we spent time discussing the life and philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We described slavery and its impact on American society. We also examined how Dr. King used non-violent strategies like the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott, which allowed African-Americans to sit anywhere on a city bus.

Circle time can also engage the students in activities that are designed to promote trust, respect, empathy and understanding of each other.