You already know that classroom meetings are an excellent community-building tool but you may be asking yourself, is it really necessary for my students to sit in a circle for class meetings?
The short answer -Yes it is!
Why can’t they sit in rows, or even stay at their desks? Let's dig into my top 10 reasons why students should sit in a circle for class meetings.
Top 10 reasons why students should sit in a circle for class meeting:
- A circle is an open, inviting seating arrangement. After all, the main point of the classroom meeting is to create a safe, inviting space for your students to start their day.
- It allows everyone in the class to see each other.
- Students can make eye contact with everyone in the community, which is key to building a strong community.
- A circle promotes equitable seating. No one is in the “front” or “back” of the class.
- No one is looking at the back of someone else’s head, which helps to promote attentiveness and engagement among all students.
- Everyone has an equal opportunity to see the board or other materials, which helps with focus.
- Passing the greeting is much more efficient in a circle than if you’re trying to coordinate zigzagging from row to row or table to table.
- Inviting students to the “rug” or “meeting space” makes meeting time a special event in your day.
- A circle arrangement is ideal for many classroom meeting activities and games. Kicking things off with students already seated in a circle cuts down on transition time during the meeting.
- It’s easier for you, as the teacher, to navigate around a circle rather than weaving through rows of students. This can be particularly helpful if you have students who need extra support staying focused or engaged.
Having students sit in a circle for class meetings helps to promote an open, inclusive environment, which is precisely the type of community you want to create for your students.