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Spring Events

 

June

National Family Month

 

June 19

Juneteenth: African American Emancipation Day

 

July

National Make a Difference to Children Month

 

July 27

National Parent's Day

 

August 12

International Youth Day

 

 

SEL Advocacy




Funding SEL

 



Community Building



Spring 2014

   

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website with a refreshed look and new content. We invite you to take a look and let us know what you thinkWe would love to hear from you!

 Ending the Year in Open Circle

 

Do you notice a shift in the dynamics of your classroom community near the end of the year?  

 

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When teachers in our Core Program are asked this question we often hear that it seems much like the beginning of the school year -- students are pulling back from you and each other, acting out, or sticking to you like glue. The good news is that this behavior is a natural and normal part of the group development process as students prepare to leave the classroom community for the summer.

 

The Open Circle Curriculum offers educators tools that enable students to reflect, helping to provide a sense of closure. We encourage you to use these resources during the final weeks of school no matter what lesson you are actually on in the curriculum. Evaluation tools can be found before the "Ending the Year" lesson in each curriculum grade. Additional closure lessons, listed below, can be found in the Supplementary section.

 

Kindergarten & 1st Grade

  • Sharing Experiences

  • Analyzing Strengths and Accomplishments

  • Saying Good-bye

2nd Grade - 5th Grade

  • Class Will

  • Class Metaphors

  • Sharing Experiences

  • Analyzing Strengths and Accomplishments

  • Saying Good-bye

Innovation in SEL Family Engagement

 

Blackstone Elementary, an Open Circle school  in Boston, MA, recently piloted an innovative program to get parents involved in Open Circle. Preschool and kindergarten classrooms invited parents to participate in Open Circle Meetings with their children. Families received a letter in English and Spanish inviting them to come to school to see how Open Circle works, in person!

 

Lori Gover, a kindergarten teacher and one of the project organizers, explained how it worked. Various time slots were offered to accommodate different schedules. Parents first attended a meeting led by Blackstone's Family Engagement Coordinator to familiarize them with Open Circle vocabulary and concepts. After this meeting, parents joined their children's classrooms to take part in an Open Circle Meeting.   
 
Both parents and students were very positive about the experience. The children were excited and proud to show their parents how Open Circle worked. One student explained to her parent, "your name was called, so you have to bring your chair safely over to the circle." 
 
In one Open Circle Meeting, parents listened to students discuss similarities and differences among people. This opened the door to discussions at home about cultural differences as well as deeper topics such as racial differences and dealing with disabilities, noted Gover. It gave parents specific ideas and strategies for how to talk with their children about these issues, which can often be challenging for students and parents, she said.

The program was so successful that Blackstone Elementary would like to do it again next year, possibly introducing it at their Parent's Night in the fall.

Open Circle's 2014 Summer Reading List

  

Summer can be a time of journeys, exploration and discovery. Children as well as adults might find themselves in new environments or new groups over the next few months. These are opportunities to take notice of the similarities and differences that stand out for us when we venture into unfamiliar territory. Invite children to take a journey with characters in our recommended summer reading: view the list of books.

We Appreciate Our Schools!

 

As school draws to a close, we would like to express our appreciation for all of our Open Circle communities' hard work and growth throughout the year! We thank you for the opportunity to collaborate with you to create school communities where each and every student develops the social and emotional skills to succeed in school, work, and life.

 

 

2014 Open Circle, Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College

 

www.opencircle.org  *  781-283-3277  *  info@opencircle.org