Early Childhood Education
*Restorative Communication Circle Workshops : Developing relationships and team building in the outdoor classroom
* Restorative Communication Circle: Earth Stewardship Discussion - Exploration of the natural world.
*Sensory Awareness & Nature Connection Activities in the Outdoor Classroom
** Eco-Compassionate Literacy Development in the Outdoor Classroom
Above: 2023-Restorative Sharing Circle Workshop @ Algonquin College-ECE Program
Above: 2018- Algonquin College ECE Program: Restorative Sharing Circle Workshop in the Indoor & Outdoor Classroom.
Earth Steward & Restorative Sharing Circle Workshops (Grades K-3).
Literacy Development in the Outdoor Classroom:
Prioritize Earth Stewardship and Eco-Compassionate Relationships across curriculum strands: The respectful acknowledgement of the role of the natural world in all aspects of human development and is a fundamental focal point across multi curriculum strands. Focus on the centrality of relationships both to the land and to each other as a community of learning. Music curriculum is always incorporated into the circle.
Daily Restorative Sharing Circle Practice in the Indoor & Outdoor Classroom will:
Improve classroom teamwork, cooperation and efficiency. Strengthens student interests and retention. Helps students and teachers connect to their work. Builds trust and companionship in the classroom. Helps maximize individual potential of all students. Offers an effective means of de-escalating conflicts. Music as and integral part of Circle sharing.
Restorative Communication Circles with Youth
The Circle's Core Principles
Circles honor both the uniqueness of each individual and the emergence of the collective.
All are equal in circle; leadership is shared.
'I' statements are strongly encouraged to improve communication habits. Phrasing one's thoughts into “I” statements helps communication go smoothly because it lessens the chances the listener will feel attacked.
Safe space is created by speaking from the heart, eye contact and active listening to understand while suspending judgement.
Phones are turned off.
Listening is directed both to individuals who are speaking, and also to the themes, connections, collective wisdom that is emerging within the created by the circle.
Silence is a significant strategy- Periods of silence allow for individuals to integrate their experience, and to stay grounded and engaged. The Circle forms a container that can safely “hold” conflicting viewpoints and diverse perspectives.
Circle Values create a quality of engagement with one another that is respectful, non-judgmental, and appreciative.
Participants in the circle share common
Above: 2016/2018 Building Relationships in Restorative Communication Circles.
Elementary Schools' indoor and outdoor classrooms - Perth, Ontario.
Sensory Awareness & Nature Immersion Workshops
Above: 2023- Sensory Awareness Activities with Algonquin College ECE Students. Perth Campus.
Above: 2018 Earth Stewardship Sharing Circles with Youth- The Outdoor Classroom. Walking Silently. Solo Sit Spot (Nature Connection/ Quiet Contemplation & Reflection)
Acknowledging First Nations Pedagogy - Talking Circles
"Talking Circles or Circle Talks are a foundational approach to First Nations pedagogy-in-action since they provide a model for an educational activity that encourages dialogue, respect, the co-creation of learning content, and social discourse. The nuance of subtle energy created from using this respectful approach to talking with others provides a sense of communion and interconnectedness that is not often present in the common methods of communicating in the classroom. When everyone has their turn to speak, when all voices are heard in a respectful and attentive way, the learning atmosphere becomes a rich source of information, identity, and interaction." (Reference: http://firstnationspedagogy.ca/circletalks.html)