You know those times when the classroom energy seems to get low, and students are disengaged? Or when students will not stop talking? I will sometimes do a "brain break" or some movement to get the blood flowing again. But recently, I have been creating community circles for my class.
Sometimes, it's nice to get out of our seats, sit down in a circle and talk to one another. It is helpful to have a "magic object" such as a stuffed animal, ball, baton, etc. to that the speak holds onto. Only the person with the "magic object" can speak. Students only take a few moments to talk, until they have to pass the "magic object" on to the person next to them. (Or you can have students toss the object to someone across the circle.) There is always a topic the community circle is based on. Students can pass if they don't want to contribute.
This is great way to get students attention back after field trips, assemblies, speakers, etc. They all want to say something about the excitement and it can escalate, quickly. A community circle allows all students who want to share, to share.
You can also use a community circle to help review for assessments, review classroom rules, or reflection. The possibilities are endless!
I hope this is helpful to you in your classrooms!!