You will want to have your bell, cymbal or chime ready so it is easy to let students know when you’re beginning or ending each portion of the activity. Using the bell to get their attention will allow you to give the instructions without having to raise your voice.
Our first several activities bring students together in a shared understanding of their common experience and — to an appropriate degree — the vast difference. This is the foundation for understanding, acceptance, compassion and empathy.
Method of Delivery: Choose what method will work given your circumstance. We recommend doing a few prompts with the whole class and letting students contribute if they wish; allowing those who are reluctant to be present for the activity. Within the next several days you might move to small groups rather than whole class time. When students seem ready, you can begin the paired sharing for the Monday thru Wednesday activities.
We’re going to take time each day to connect in a more intentional and meaningful way. Because we all manage a range of inconveniences, anxieties and fears, our focus is not going to be on any one particular issue. We will, instead, be aware of how we support one another, how we make room for people to speak their truths, to listen respectfully, and how we build a foundation for common support.
This activity we’re going to do together every day is called 5 Radical Minutes. At some point we’ll pair up for the activities, but for now we’re going to either do small groups or whole class shared time. No matter what configuration, we all will be practicing good listening skills.
Depending on physical distancing or platforms, you might add that you’re hoping others from the building will join in occasionally so you also have the opportunity to work on these concepts with all of the adults who are a part of the school.
Let’s each share something you were looking forward to about coming back to school.
Ring your bell or cymbal to denote the beginning of this 3 minute sharing time.
Allow students to take turns sharing their perspective. Encourage others to listen respectfully and wait their turn to speak.
We’ve designed these first couple of weeks with the program to give teachers insights that will be helpful in lowering student anxiety about being back at school.
For these first few days of school, it may pay off to give kids more time to reply. (This could also lead to more discussion times throughout the day as time or need arises.)
If you’d like to keep this activity to five minutes, consider coaching students on how to respond quickly yet thoughtfully.
Ring your bell or cymbal to denote the end of this 3 minute sharing time.
What were the common themes you noticed in your replies?
Ring your bell or cymbal to denote the beginning and ending of this 2 minute sharing time.
Today, remember to express gratitude that we can be together again.