Check-in Question Generators

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For those implementing restorative practices, check-in circles are highly recommended to use with all grade levels. Today I learned about an easy way to access check-in questions online.

Restorative Practices 101 Seminar

Today I had the opportunity to co-train with a colleague our original all-day seminar, Restorative Practices 101. This is the only time I’m training for RP 101 during the 2023-24 academic year, since I’m doing fewer trainings, and more with curriculum. It was wonderful to train a small group of educators committed to implementing Restorative […]

Dodging the Power Struggle Trap: Relatable and Relevant

Reminder: Don’t pick-up the symbolic tug-of-war rope.

“It is only when we prioritize building relationships with our students that they can learn and succeed in the classroom. Specifically, we see increased academic achievement, engagement, attendance, and grades, and we see decreased levels of challenging behaviors and school drop-out.”1,p.65 As a Restorative Practices trainer and consultant, I enjoy that every training opportunity is […]

Pathway to Webpage: Gateway to Restorative Practices

Logo: Gateway to restorative Practices

The end of the 2022-23 school year aligns with a decade of adventure as a part-time Restorative Practices in Schools trainer and consultant with a large school district. Over these years my webpage From Diapers to Diamonds offered a dedicated page for Restorative Practices in Schools participants to access. As the need grew, I realized […]

Restorative Practices Reflection Spring 2023, Part 2

Decorative images with reflections on the water

My last blog post was part 1 of this blog post. You can read part 1 at Monthly Collaboration I was blessed to attend SDCOE (San Diego County Office of Education’s) monthly collaboration in April and May. I just registered for the first one in September for the 2023-24 school year. Here’s their description: […]

Restorative Practices Reflection Spring 2023, Part 1

Pink flower tree with reflection in pond

It feels a little strange to write a reflection about recent events, but it will finish the reflections for the 2022-2023 school year. In December I learned that we would be training the District’s newly hired behavior analysts in January. This kept me busy developing tier 3 strategies for them. Also, in January I was […]

2022 Fall Restorative Practices Reflections

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The fall arrives sooner than expected. Christina worked diligently during the late summer getting the 34-school site leads scheduled to meet with one of our four trainers for a fall update on Zoom. Twenty-six site team leads spent time with us offering us insight to the transition back-to-school after Covid-19 and their restorative practices plans. […]

Participants’ Myths About Restorative Practices Declines

decorative image fall-colors-4702561

During the first five years that I did Restorative Practices in schools trainings, much of my time was spent dispelling myths. Participants arrived at full-day seminars and workshops proudly ready to share their knowledge about RP. Unfortunately, most of their information was incorrect, but these participants were also operating at their school sites under the […]

Am I Triggering Power Struggles with Students?

tug of war with a rope decorative image

My colleagues and I had the opportunity to observe every three weeks at 12 junior and senior high schools at the newly established Intervention Centers. We spent about one and a half hours at each site. As a restorative practices trainer and consultant, I had the opportunity to witness many reasons students are sent to […]

Why Didn’t I Include Restorative Circles in Every Workshop?

The Pareto Principle

Over the past nine years I’ve created over 40 one-hour workshops in addition to full-day trainings on restorative practices in schools. I’m an absolute research nerd. People don’t typically get their doctorate if they’re not. I’m cognizant of how many hours of research I do for a given topic and keep the end goal in […]

Using Circles to Review Homework Assignments, Part 2

No Excuses decorative graphic

In my last blog post, Using Circles to Review Homework Assignments, Part 1, I featured Frederick Community College’s circle approach around homework. Community college students struggle with completing assignments like many of our students do. Students need help meeting the challenges that keep them from completing assignments. One type of circle was featured in my […]

Using Academic Content Circles to Explore Presidents Day

Presidents Day Decorative Badge

Do your students know why they get two days off from school in February? Many lower elementary grade teachers do activities that center on Presidents George Washing and Lincoln. As students move to upper grades, educators can still focus on the meaning of Presidents’ Day. Academic content circles are a perfect way to re-mind students […]

Do Restorative Questions Work with Kindergarteners?

Welcome to Kindergarten Clip Art

My colleagues and I train school site staff in an alternative to traditional punishment called Restorative Practices. The most basic skill is asking children and adolescents affective questions. We often assume we know what happened, but many times we don’t. We only see part of the story. Sometimes I get asked if restorative questions work […]

The Role of the Site Team Lead & Consultant in Implementing Restorative Practices in Schools

decorative image that reads "Leader"

Implementation Team There are many ways to implement restorative practices at schools. The cost of training every person in a district can be prohibitive. When I created the restorative practices in schools program for a large school district in Modesto, CA, I developed a site team system that includes administrators, certificated staff, classified staff. It […]

New Workshop: Restorative Practices and Picture Books

Wally and Freya Book Cover

It is summertime and I’m working on some new restorative practices workshops for this school year. The one I’m most excited about involves children’s picture books. As a former child development professor, I love children’s books. Social Justice Books I was inspired by a workshop during the Restorative Justice World Conference in April by Carmen […]

Expulsions and Suspensions for Preschoolers

Pumpkins and Preschoolers event

Last week I did an all-day training for an elementary sited called  Restorative Practices 101. It is a six-hour overview of restorative practices in schools with an emphasis on practical skills educators can use the next day. A state preschool teacher expressed interest. “I’d like to use restorative practices with my preschoolers.” “That’s exciting. I’m […]

Restorative Questions and Reasons We Don’t Ask, Why?

post it note with the word why on it

What are Restorative Conversations? A restorative conversation is any conversation that uses restorative questions in which an issue is approached with an open mind to: Traditional Restorative Questions The International Institute of Restorative Practices sells business sized cards that ask the restorative questions. Side 1 are the questions to ask the offender, the person who […]

Why We Don’t Ask, “Why did you do that?”

Question Mark

Have any of these situations ever happened with your kids? When a parent discovers one of the dilemmas above, the first question that spurts from his/her mouth is, “Why did you do that?” quickly followed by, “What were you thinking?” Parents and teachers, here’s the answer: They don’t know why they did that. Plus, your […]

Pushing Students Out of School: How Did We Get Here?

Why did laws intended to make schools safer backfire? Zero Tolerance In 1994 schools across the United States implemented Zero Tolerance policies after federal legislation required expulsion for one year when students brought a weapon to school. Many schools expanded this policy to reduce possession or use of illicit and prevent violence. A multitude of […]

2022 International Institute of Restorative Practices Conference Changes Lives

Pathways to Social Change

Seven hundred people from all over the world virtually attended the International Institute of Restorative Practices Pathways to Social Change Online Conference last week, January 26-28. Three restorative practices trainers and I were able to be a part of this significant time. Put 20% First Cami Anderson, Director of Third Word Solutions, says that if […]

What’s Restorative Justice Anyways?

As I train restorative practices for educators in a local school district, many of you may wonder, what am I talking about? Definition & Goals Howard Zehr describes the concept as, “Restorative justice is a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offense and to collectively identify […]

Intervention Strategy #2: Model Problem-Solving Skills

Adults can offer verbal and/or physical help to model problem solving. This helps students recognize and name feelings, identify problems, and come up with ideas for solving the problem, and try possible solutions. Four Steps to Problem-Solving1 Whether the problem relates to playground balls or interacting with others, modelling problem-solving methods shows students different ways […]

Intervention Strategy #1: Re-direct


My husband and I have seasons tickets to Fresno State football games. On game day, certain streets are only one way while others may be closed to thru traffic. Cars and people are re-directed to help the traffic flow better. Redirection Re-direct defined is the action of assigning or directing something to a new or different […]

Prevention Strategy #10: Be Alert to Total Situation


Use the most strategic positions for supervising students to ensure their health and safety. Observing the total setting involving students is essential to effective guidance. Proximity: stay close by when younger children are still learning to play together. Keep moving! Activities can change constantly. Be Alert Observe and engage students in activities. If you’re alert, […]

Prevention Strategy #9: Ignore Minor Incidents

Ignore Minor Incidents

This is the first of two strategies that is way underused. Sometimes parents and educators think that they must intervene in every situation which is simply not true. “Adults who work with young children need to develop tolerance for a certain amount of noise, clutter and attention seeking behaviour. As long as children’s activities are […]

Prevention Strategy #4: Confident Tone of Voice


Myth: The louder we speak, the greater chance of controlling behavior Yelling produces yelling. The louder an adult gets, the louder children get. Negative examples of confident tone of voice: screaming, swearing, name calling, shouting, or sarcasm. Incorrect Response: Educator: Says in a loud voice to a group of students across the hallway, “Line up. […]

Prevention Strategy #3: Offer Straightforward Explanations for Limits

Conversation Bubble

When students (and adults) understand the reasons or rationale for limits, they are more likely to comply. They may not like it, but at least they understand the reason. Teaching students the “why” of a limit helps them internalize and learn the rules of social living. Offer Explanations Here’s some examples. “The sand stays down […]

Prevention Strategy #2: Make Limits Effective

Behavior Sign

We looked at prevention strategy number one. Today we’ll look at prevention strategy number two make limits effective. Direct Instruction We make the mistake of believing children know how to line-up, listen, walk in hallways, share, take turns, etc., but often they do not. Provide direct instruction and opportunities to practice desired behaviors. Example: “Samantha, […]

Prevention Strategy #1: Establish Clear, Consistent and Simple Limits

A Chalkboard that says "Know the Rules"

We looked at ineffective guidance strategies in my last blog. Today is the first of ten prevention strategies, part of 13 guidance strategies that work. The first strategy is establish clear, consistent and simple limits. What are Limits? “Limits are statements of what behavior is appropriate. They ensure students know what is expected. Limits should […]

What Guidance Strategies Don’t Work?


Before we look at what works with children or students, let’s look at what doesn’t work. What guidance strategies don’t work with children or students? Ineffective, Inappropriate and Unacceptable Guidance Strategies If you’re like most parents or educators you’ve tried some of these to no avail. You’ve probably discovered that they are ineffective and don’t […]

Restorative Practices Changes You

Conversation Bubble

Often we focus on how restorative practices can change our students and school climate. But it can also change us…those responsible for implementation. One Cohort 2, year 3 administrator tells his/her story. “Restorative practices has affected me personally by changing the way I interview and question kids about behaviors by using restorative questioning techniques. This […]

Fake Apologies

Sorry not sorry image

You’ve heard of fake news. Well there are also fake apologies. We shouldn’t be surprised that students can by cynical about apologies. They may wonder what’s in it for them. Teacher Rosalind Wiseman says, “They witness ‘fake’ apologies amongst their peers and see adults who treat them disrespectfully, abuse their power and who would never […]

Start a Gratitude Journal During COVID-19

Gratitude Journal image

“Gratitude is taking a snapshot of an outstanding moment and filing it away in your heart.” – Coach Bobbi A lot of what we hear and see these days about the COVID-19 pandemic is frightening and upsetting. “Journaling is an amazing tool for working through your thoughts and emotions, which can be incredibly helpful during chaotic […]

Stay Calm & Step Away During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The feeling thermometer

With the onslaught of COVID-19 information it is easy to become worried and anxious. Some states are ending their stay-at-home orders while others are holding on. Here are a few tips on staying calm and stepping away during the pandemic. Try to be a source of calm for your loved ones.1 It isn’t easy with […]

Be Gentle with Yourself and Those Around You During COVID-19

Empathy Graphic

“We know that it’s important to show compassion for others, but how often do we show that same level of kindness to ourselves?” asks Emily Ferguson, author of 10 Different Ways to Practice Self-Care.1 Step back Ferguson says, “Step back and remember that you are worth the love and care that you give others. Many […]

What is Working & Not Working During COVID-19?

What's working during Covid 19

“Take care of yourself and others” is a message I repeatedly hear on the news and commercials. Good advice especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic. But what is meant by self-care? Self-care is, “Our ability as human beings to function effectively in the world while meeting the multiple challenges of daily life with a sense of […]

Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic

Covid 19

With the shelter-in-place orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the restorative practices staff at Youth for Christ are planning a webinar, Self-care During the Corona Virus. I did research and chose 10 tips for the workshop. I thought you’d find some of the information and tips helpful as well. But first, I found something surprising. […]

New Restorative Practices Book

Restorative Justice book in the English Language Arts Curriculum

Always on the lookout for new restorative practices resource books I’m delighted with my latest find, Restorative Justice in the English Language Arts Classroom. This five-chapter, 126-page book by Maisha T. Winn, Hannah Graham, and Rita Renjitham Alfred integrates restorative justice principles throughout as it applies to English Language Arts (ELA) classrooms. More than assignments […]

What is Bullying?

How would you describe bullying? Has your child been bullied? Have you? When I taught a workshop at the California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAEYC) in Pasadena for adults working with children in the primary grades. Over 50 educators actively participated in my workshop: Bullying 101: Helping the Bully, the Bullied, and […]

Yard Supervisors and Campus Supervisors Serve on Campus’ Front Lines

Image of Walkie Talkies

This week I had the privilege of training yard supervisors for Modesto City Schools for two days and one day for campus supervisors. In honor of their dedication to students and the start of another school year, I’m re-posting this blog. Thanks for your investment in our community’s children. The men and women whose job […]

Completing the Circle

Hands joined together

If you are working with Restorative Practices in Schools then you know that there are not as many resources for working with elementary children as there are for junior and senior high students. I discovered a booklet focused on 9 to 12 year olds by Professor Rick Kelly from George Brown College in Canada that […]

Ten Ways to Live Restoratively by Howard Zehr

Two arrows graphic decorative

Source: Zehr, Howard. The Little Book of Restorative Justice. Appendix IV. New York: Good Books, 2015. Note: Appendix IV is a resource that may be useful to the reader or for use in discussions or presentations. It may be reproduced with proper citation. Image Source: refresh-reload []

Restorative Practices Changes Treatment of Students

What's your story.

Often we focus on how restorative practices can change our students and school climate. But itcan also change us . . . those responsible for implementation. One Cohort 2 (2014-2015), year 3 administrator tells his/her story. How has restorative practices affected you personally? Image Source: Chalkboard []

Experts’ Advice on Implementing Restorative Practices in Schools

decorative image of a flag that says "advice"

This post features advice from experts in the trenches, a certificated staff as well as an administer, both from Cohort 2, Year 3. With only four weeks of school left, this is great advice to keep in mind. Site Team Leads (Administrator) Advice: Certificated Staff Advice: Which of these advice tips can you use this […]

Fabulous New Restorative Practices Resource

Helicopter Parent Quiz

Every few months I scour the internet for newly published restorative practices in schools books and resources. Don’t Suspend Me! An Alternative Discipline Toolkit is more of a resource than a book. You’ll want this resource for you school site. Book Review Here’s the review I submitted on Amazon Books. “I shared this book with […]

Shoving Stops Using Restorative Practices Questions

Cards with restorative practice questions

A certificated staff from El Vista shared her story using RP questions. “One boy shoved another into a girl, knocking her over. So I met with both boys. I asked Student A what happened. He told what he did. Student B agreed with his recounting of the event. I asked Student A what he was […]

Colorado RJ Coordinator Hosts California RP Trainer

Restorative Justice Word Cloud

I was thrilled when I found out I was going to spend a week in Denver with my husband in late January. He’d be involved with the Youth for Christ National Office. I knew immediately I could visit some schools and districts that are further along in implementing restorative practices (RP) than we are in […]

Learning at RP International Conference in Historic Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Restorative Practices Sign

I’m in the beautiful historic city Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the International Conference on Restorative Practices sponsored by the International Institute of Restorative Practices (iiirp). Today’s been a great start to the conference. I began the day attending the workshop Students Lead: Developing a RP Student Leadership Team. This is a missing component in the training […]

First Grade “New” to Kinders: Parent Action Tips

First Grade by North Media

By Dr. Marian Fritzemeier, Ed.D. Your first grader now attends school all day rather than the typical half day kindergarten at most schools. Parents may feel confident their child is used to school routines, but several aspects of first grade are “new” to kinders. Here’s what may be “new” in your child’s first grade day and […]

What’s New for Restorative Practices Educators?

Little Book of Restorative Justice

Are you implementing restorative practices (RP) at your school? Do you wish there was a book that explains RP to students? Are you thinking about RP ideas for the fall? Wait no longer. Three new books about RP in schools are scheduled for release over the next few months. Book 1: RP for Students What are […]

Why Forcing “I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Work

I'm sorry graphic

You’ve probably witnessed a forced apology. Parents tire of siblings arguing and don’t know what to do. Often they resort to apologies. The frustrated parent commands, “Tell your brother you’re sorry.” “I’m sorry,” he replies in a clipped voice. “Now, you apologize,” the parent nods towards the other child. “I’m sorry,” the sibling replies grudgingly. […]

Book Review: The Trophy Kids Grow Up

Book Cover: The Trophy Kids Grow Up

When I talk with community and business people about challenges they’re facing with today’s workforce, I frequently share one of the most relevant books I’ve read addressing this topic. The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation is Shaking up the Workplace. Author Ron Alsop traces this phenomenon and how parenting the Millennial Generation […]

Marian’s Teaching Philosophy Pt. 6: Ongoing Reflection & Assessment

decorative image: professor at work

I’ve enjoyed sharing my teaching philosophy. Today is the sixth and final component of my philosophy. Ongoing reflection and assessment ties all the components together. Reflections and assessments range from formal, such as course or tenure evaluations, to informal, such as sticky notes I write to note changes. Not only do I make modifications during […]

Marian’s Teaching Philosophy, Part 5: Multimodality Teaching & Learning Styles

Colorful Puzzle Pieces with the word Learning over them

A multimodality teaching style is my teaching philosophy’s fifth piece. I display an innovative and refreshing teaching style by utilizing methods that engage visual, auditory, and/or kinesthetic learners. A big picture view My teaching style begins by looking at the topic’s big picture. I research and gather content and ideas from sources beyond the textbook(s). […]

Marian’s Teaching Philosophy, Pt. 4: Educating Students Across the Curriculum

Colorful Protractors decorative image

The fourth facet of my teaching philosophy is educating students across the curriculum. I regularly integrate science, history, and math skills into content. Interconnected learning When I’m teaching fetal development, I’m teaching genetics and biology. When students calculate square footage for a classroom using cell phones, I’m reinforcing math skills. These activities help students realize […]

Marian’s Teaching Philosophy, Pt. 3: Content & Curriculum Expertise

Graduation Cap

My content and curriculum expertise serves as the third philosophy facet. Although I possess advanced degrees, I am a life-long learner, avid reader and researcher, and conscientious about maintaining cutting-edge child development and education knowledge. This requires participating in professional associations and conferences and learning from colleagues. I thoroughly enjoy returning from training and incorporating […]

Marian’s Teaching Philosophy, Pt. 2: Students & Teacher Learning Together

Many hands decorative image

I’m sharing a series on the six facets of my teaching philosophy. The foundation of my philosophy is creating a safe and inclusive classroom environment. My second teaching philosophy concept is that students and teacher are all learning together. As a vigorous and enthusiastic professor who enjoys education and interacting with students, I include myself […]

Marian’s Teaching Philosophy, Part 1: Creating a Safe & Inclusive Learning Environment

Decorative sign reading "bully free zone"

My coursework at Fresno State laid the foundation of my teaching philosophy. Through years of experience and refinement, my philosophy includes six components: creating a safe environment; we are all learners; content and curriculum expertise; education across the curriculum; multimodality teaching style; and reflection and assessment. Today I’ll address my first component. The foundation of […]

Restorative Justice: Oakland Schools Report Significant Positive Results

Logo for Oakland Unified School District

The Oakland Unified School District reports significant positive results using restorative justice at many of their sites, including elementary, middle, and high schools. I’m only on page 29 of the 85 page report, but I just couldn’t wait to share some of the significant, positive results with educators, parents, and those I’m training in Restorative […]

Quiz: Are you a Helicopter Parent?

Helicopter Parent Quiz

“Helicopter parents can be identified by their tendency to hover close to their child, ready to come to the rescue at the first sign of difficulty or disappointment,” explains Indiana University psychologist, Chris Meno. (1) She counsels “over-parented” college students on gaining independence. “Helicopter parents can be identified by their tendency to hover close to […]

  • Are you relieved when certain students are absent?
  • Do you have students who “push your buttons”?
  • Do you find yourself butting heads with the same students day-after-day?

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