Class Meetings

Are you looking for ways to keep your class peaceful? Try class meetings.

Laurie Woodward

“The two main purposes of class meetings are to help each other and to solve problems,” Jane Nelson says. According to William Glasser, the American psychiatrist who developed Choice Theory, class meetings are a time when “the teacher leads the whole class in a non-judgmental discussion.”

Amongst the guidelines were a list of dos and don’ts. For example, blame or put-downs were not allowed. These meetings were a place to solve problems, listen to the person speaking, and give each child a voice.

The next day, I told my students to get in a circle then pulled out a wooden mallet.

“This is the talking stick,” I said, holding it up. “Only the person holding it is allowed to speak. While he or she is sharing, everyone is quiet and listening. Remember we are talking about feelings, not tattling or name calling. When someone is finished sharing a concern with…

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