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Using Classroom Circles to Foster SEL, Build Community and Support Restorative Practices

Using Classroom Circles to Foster SEL, Build Community and Support Restorative Practices
March 14, 2019 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT
1 hour
Grade Level Grades 3-12, Professional Development


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Join Morningside Center and Share My Lesson for a webinar on Restorative Practices. 

Experienced Morningside Center trainers will share guidelines and tips for facilitating successful circles based on years of work implementing research-based programs in hundreds of New York City public schools. Participants will learn techniques for using circles to build their students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) skills, create a more caring classroom community, and strengthen school efforts to implement restorative practices.

Our facilitators will:

  • Share guidelines for facilitating successful classroom circles, including prompts we have found most helpful when first beginning circles
  • Provide practical suggestions for how to build students’ SEL skills inside classroom circles, including suggested circle topics
  • Offer tips for using circles to build and maintain a strong sense of community in your classroom
  • Discuss how circles can support your school’s move to restorative discipline
  • Provide links to many more resources on becoming a skilled circle keeper

Professional Credit

Available for one-hour of PD credit. A certificate of completion will be available for download at the end of your session that you can submit for your school's or district's approval.

Share My Lesson is now a New York State Education Department-approved provider for Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) requirements and an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved Professional Development provider.


Victoria Cheng-Gorini has worked with Morningside since 2007. For five years, she served as the conflict resolution specialist at our PAZ after-school program at PS 24 in Brooklyn, where she helped both adults and students develop SEL skills. She is currently a lead trainer and coach for CREW: Friends for the Journey, our program to build the capacity of after-school programs to integrate SEL, and has helped develop the CREW curriculum. Victoria has also trained and coached staff from public schools across NYC in fostering social and emotional learning through our 4Rs and Restore360 Programs, and trained peer mediators in both elementary and middle schools. In addition to her work with Morningside Center, Victoria has facilitated trainings in positive discipline for CBO staffs for Development without Limits, served as a conflict resolution teacher for Project Reach Youth, and was program coordinator for the Police Athletic League Port Richmond Center. She has a BA in Criminal Justice, from John Jay College and a Masters in Conflict Analysis and Engagement from Antioch.

Dionne Grayman has been a staff developer for Morningside Center since 2014, and writes a regular blog for the organization, See and Be Seen. Dionne became an English teacher in 1993, and her first classroom was in the Rikers Island Education Facility (C-74) teaching male adolescent inmates. Says Dionne: “It was both the hardest and best teaching job I have had to date. I learned much from those young men and that experience has continued to inform who I am professionally and personally.” Dionne also taught at Brooklyn Tech, PATH on the Thomas Jefferson Campus, and Boys and Girls High School. She has been a parent and community activist. She cofounded NYCPublic, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering NYC's public school parents, and she co-founded Mothers Empowered. She has served as a community organizing consultant for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Dionne has a BA from Brooklyn College and an MS in special education from Hunter College.



Morningside Center Using Classroom Circles to Foster SEL.pptx

February 10, 2020
30.0 MB
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Morningside Center Webinar Resources.pdf

Handout, Worksheet
February 13, 2020
0.1 MB
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2 Reviews
Morningside is my go-to for SEL and restorative practices ideas. Helpful ppt on how to facilitate circles.
Mary Martin 1
October 14, 2019
Margie Weiner
March 15, 2019
So many great ideas shared on why and how and when to use circles. I feel a lot more comfortable on trying this with students as well as peer meetings.
Susan Youssofi
March 14, 2019