Elementary Classroom – Talking Pieces

Post by Catherine, classroom teacher and circlekeeper.


Talking peices come in many shapes and sizes in my classroom.  Children bring items to share and leave them on the shelf to use as talking pieces. We have MN Gopher stuffed animals, Gopher pucks, Wild pucks, Gopher hats, flowers, Snoopy ornaments, coins from a variety of countries, baseball cards, rocks, drawings, cards, and many homemade objects on the “Talking Piece Shelf”.  It is a special priviledge for a student (twice each day) to select the talking piece for opening or closing circles.  But….everyone knows it we are having a special or serious problem solving circle…the only piece that really works is a puck!
The read aloud book this week is, “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory”.  So one young boy brought in Wonka candies to use as talking pieces.  I have to admit it was the first time I have passed a package of Wonka Nerds around the circle as a talking piece.  But…it worked just fine!



Thanks for sharing your photos and stories!  Catherine took Responsive Classroom strategies to the next level with restorative justice classroom circles.  Her school had a one-day training, a coaching day and the district sponsored a two-day circle training.  Catherine and her principal are happy to speak to other school staff and answer any questions.  Look for Catherine’s other posts.  She shares classroom stories and helpful school-based ideas.