Open Circle

As a non-profit, we depend on your support to bring social and emotional learning to more students and educators.  Together we will help children develop the skills to succeed in school, work, and life.

Register Now

Children's Books with SEL Connections
Of the countless books that teachers use, some titles stand out for being especially authentic and memorable. 

View our updated list of Recommended Books!

Best Practices for SEL

Check out our updated tool for SEL Best Practices!  It includes helpful tips for educators, school and district administrators. 

Winter Events

December is Human Rights Month

January 19-23:  No Name-Calling Week


Follow Us

Happy Holidays 2014


Interested in how you can incorporate Open Circle into whole-school activities? We have complied a list of our top 10 suggestions for school assemblies:



  1. Choose weekly/monthly Open Circle themes

  2. Consistently use vocabulary during assemblies

  3. Students present poems, skits, raps, songs, stories, or artwork representing a theme

  4. Students from each grade level role play an Open Circle skill

  5. A few classes/grade levels share how they carry over an Open Circle skill (e.g., for Including One Another: a fourth grade class decided Thursdays would be "play with someone new day" and students focused on being more inclusive)
  6. Students serve as emcees for assembly, preparing and reading introductions for each segment. 
  7. Teachers honor a project or team of students who have consistently exemplified an Open Circle skill
  8. Teachers have students do lyric writing with Open Circle themes to create a special song; the music teacher helps students put words to music, and each class performs at an assembly
  9. Principal reads an Open Circle book aloud while teachers act it out (e.g., Crazy Hair Day)
  10. Whole school performs Rainstorm activity
If your school infuses Open Circle into your assemblies in a different way, we would love to hear from you. Contact us with any ideas.

Teacher Supports Whole-School Approach at Hale Elementary

The Hale Elementary School is one of 22 Boston Public Schools that began implementing Open Circle in 2013 as part of the $1 million grant from Partners HealthCare in collaboration with the Boston Public Health Commission.  Abby Hiatt--Shepp, third grade teacher at Hale Elementary, ran an Open Circle professional development session with her colleagues at the start of the school year. 


During the session with her colleagues, Ms. Hiatt-Shepp said "The idea we came away with was a bulletin board that we now have in a main hallway that we're rotating.  So every class will have a turn to share an aspect of Open Circle work on the bulletin a tangible way to showcase our commitment to Open Circle." 


Ms. Hiatt-Shepp shared how a whole-school Open Circle initiative can benefit students, "I think that it will be helpful to have every student see that our class is not the only class doing Open Circle, so when they're interacting with other students, they can use the same strategies of dealing with annoying behaviors or being a bystander or whatever, that those are school-wide and not just values in each individual classroom."

2014 Open Circle, Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College  *  781-283-3277  *