Closing Circle Idea: Maître d’

Closing Circle is a positive, structured way to bring closure to the school day. It takes just a few minutes and is a time for students to reflect and celebrate what they have done in school that day.

What exactly do children do in a Closing Circle? They may sing a song, think about an accomplishment, set a personal goal for the following day, play a game, or send a friendly good-bye around the circle. The choice depends on the children’s developmental abilities, your personal style, and—importantly, on the kind of day the class had. The common thread that runs through all closing circle activities is their focus on the positive.

Here’s a K–6 Closing Circle activity idea from Closing Circles: 50 Activities for Ending the Day in a Positive Way, the new book that I co-authored with Dana Januszka:

Maître d’

How to do this group activity:
  1. Call out, “Table for [a number from 2 through 4].”
  2. Students quickly assemble in small groups with that number of members.
  3. Ask a question for children to answer in their group or give a topic for them to discuss. For example, “Which way of practicing spelling words works best for you?”
  4. Call out another table number after all students have had time to share in their small groups. Students form new small groups based on the new number.

More sample questions for Step 3:

  • What could we do to welcome our new classmate next week?
  • What’s your favorite time of the school day?
  • What’s one thing we could do to make our field trip go well tomorrow?
  • Who’s your favorite (or least favorite) character in our read-aloud?

Skills: voicing an opinion, counting (for younger students)

Kristen Vincent is a Responsive Classroom Program Developer, and is also the co-author of the book Closing Circles: 50 Activities for Ending the Day in a Positive Way.



Tags: Building Classroom Community, Closing Circle, Movement