I have worked in Learning Circles for a number
of years and I find it fits into any and all curriculum. Once you become
a little familiar with this structure, you soon realize that all your
classroom planning and curriculum work can be covered with your Learning
Circle project as the centre. Opportunities for reading, writing, listening,
speaking, and research grow naturally out of Learning Circle projects.
Messages generated interesting problems and questions. These provided
opportunities for creative problem solving, research, and lots of communication
within the classroom and, of course, through this Learning Network.
Lord Strathcona Public School
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Learning Circle help children build their own network
of people. In our case, this recycling project was just that. The idea
was sparked in Cincinnati. As a result of their project, we had a speaker
come into our classroom to talk about recycling in Rotterdam. He brought
two other people with him and has us on the phone to a fourth. And the
students in my class started getting ideas. They talked to teachers
and other students and then began their project. It was like magic!
At first when I realized the experiences my students and I were having,
I thought I had just lucked into a good Learning Circle. But as time
went on I realized that these kinds of experiences are inherent to the
Learning Circle format.
Woetina Elementary School
Rotterdam Junction, New Jersey
Having a plan for receiving, discussing, preparing and
sending messages makes integration into the daily structure much easier.
Classes I have had in the past usually set up cooperative teams with
specific 'jobs' which they are responsible for each day and a specific
deadline for completing the group task. The jobs range from receiving
and reporting mail from individual Circle schools, to editing and layout
of a section of the publication. Each child is responsible for producing
at least two pieces of writing (done individually, with a partner, or
in a small group) for projects proposed by our Circle partners--this
makes it possible for them to choose the type of writing or topic of
most interest. Charts of group progress, whole group discussions and
clear deadlines make for a successful Learning Circle experience!
Hilton Village School
Hilton, New York