January 2020

January 2020 eNewsletter

Social and Emotional Learning Supports Restorative Justice

WCW Research & Action ReportKamilah Drummond-Forrester, Director of Open Circle, was recently featured in Wellesley Centers for Women’s Research & Action Annual Report 2019. In this commentary, she explains how social and emotional learning supports restorative practice in classrooms and can contribute to a “healthier” and “happier” school community.

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Taking Care of Yourself and Others

Self Care Others SEL Childrens Literature 2020It’s the start of a new year and maybe you’re thinking about a fresh start, and some new goals related to your school community and beyond. Maybe self-care and better relationships are on your list of resolutions. Practicing mindfulness is one way to reach those goals.

The titles featured here include children’s books about mindfulness practices and stories about showing compassion towards others. The pairing of these two themes highlights one of the many potential benefits of practicing mindfulness – the ability to enhance relationships through caring for others.

On their website, Mindful Schools describes some research outcomes suggesting that in addition to improved attention, emotional regulation, and reduction of stress, benefits of mindfulness include greater compassion. “People randomly assigned to mindfulness training are more likely to help someone in need and have greater self-compassion.”

For more information about mindfulness, view Open Circle's Mindfulness resource page.

Download a printable version (pdf) of this booklist.


HearAndNow 75wHere and Now
By Julia Denos, E.B. Goodale (ill.)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019
Denos based this book on her poem, “In the Moment.” The book uses the turning of pages and the words as a guided meditation for children to help them notice, in the present moment, the world around them. (Grades K-3)

Charlotte Quiet Place 75wCharlotte and the Quiet Place
By Deborah Sosin, Sara Woolley (ill.)
Parallax Press, 2015
Charlotte looks for a way to find her own quiet place in a busy, noisy world by learning and practicing mindful breathing. (Grades K-2)

StepsStones 75wSteps and Stones - An Anh's Anger Story
By Gail Silver, Chistiane Kromer (ill.)
Plum Blossom, 2011
Ahn learns how to pause and give himself time to manage his strong feelings before he responds to classmates in an unsafe way. (Grades K-2)


I Walk With Vanessa75wI Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness
By Kerascoët
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2018
This wordless book illustrates how one girl becomes an ally for someone who experiences bullying behavior. Her positive actions inspire similar acts of kindness. (Grades K-3)

What is Given from the Heart 75wWhat is Given from the Heart
By Patricia C. McKissack, April Harrison (ill.)
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2019
When Reverend Dennis shares his thoughts on giving, “What is given from the heart, reaches the heart,” James Otis discovers that the joy of giving to someone in need doesn’t have to involve money. (Grades 1-4)

Be Kind 75wBe Kind
By Pat Zietlow Miller, Jen Hill (ill.)
Roaring Brook Press, 2018
A young girl reflects on what it means to be kind, including being an ally, paying attention to others, listening well, or using people’s names. (Grades K-2)

Upcoming Specialist & Support Staff Workshop

$25 discount on the February 13, 2020 session

OpenCircle children outside 150sqConsistency and reinforcement throughout the school day support students in practicing and using Open Circle skills. This one-day workshop appreciates the unique role of specialists and support staff and explores how they can reinforce Open Circle concepts and integrate them to enhance their own work. Participants develop a basic knowledge of Open Circle vocabulary, skills and practices and create practical applications of Open Circle tools for their particular work with students.

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If you would like more information about Open Circle programs or would like to speak to a member of the Open Circle Team about reinvigorating Open Circle practice at your school, please contact us at info@open-circle.org or submit a Request for Quote via our website.

Share and stay connected with your Open Circle Community

UP Holland We Use Open Circle 2019 150wStay tuned in to Open Circle via eNews, Twitter and Facebook. We will be highlighting different schools and sharing with you successful Open Circle Activities. If you have an Open Circle story or activity you would like to share with your community click on the button below or email info@open-circle.org. It can be a few photos and brief description of your activity, an implementation success story, or a short video.

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Image: "We use Open Circle" bulletin board. Thanks to Up Academy Holland for sharing this photo!

Make a difference for Open Circle schools/districts

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the Open Circle program is implemented by over 16,000 educators, in over 360 schools across the United States and remains a leading provider of evidence-based curriculum and professional development.

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“With Open Circle we see children actively listening, helping each other, and using the steps of problem solving. Open Circle helps children be a part of a class, a school, a town and the world as socially competent people.”


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