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New Workshop: Restorative Practices and Picture Books

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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 Zeisler with ESSDACK, an educational organization. She provided links to children’s social justice book web sites. I’m enjoying previewing books I’m finding at my local library. My introductory workshop is titled Building Community Using Circles and Picture Books and is for K-3rd grade educators.

Book cover: Wally and Freya by Lindsey Pointer and Stella Mongodi

New Children’s Book

Today I heard about Wally & Freya, a new restorative practices book for children. This book is also by one of the presenters from the conference. Dr. Lindsey Pointer and Kathleen McGoey taught a workshop, Games and Activities for Teaching Restorative Justice. I get a monthly email highlighting new activities. Today’s activity featured the book.

Amazon describes Pointer’s Wally & Freya as follows,

“A heartwarming picture book that teaches empathy and inclusion.

Everyone knows Wally is a bully. He steals lunch every day from Bella Jo the bear, calls Oliver the owl mean names, and never shares the crayons. So when the other animals decide to write a story together and the notebook disappears, there is little doubt that Wally has taken it.

But what the animals don’t know is why Wally acts the way he does. As they unravel the mystery of the missing notebook, they also begin to understand Wally, which leads to a surprising and joyous discovery.

This sweet story teaches children empathy and the amazing power of kindness and inclusion. The first in a new series on restorative justice practices for kids, this book is sure to delight children and grownups alike.”

I can’t wait to get the book and integrate it into my new workshop.

New Workshop Description

Building Community Using Circles and Picture Books

Learn how your students can connect deeply and personally to the books they read. Using the restorative practices framework, educators can develop safe, supportive spaces in schools by creating community-building circles around picture books. This workshop for K-3rd grade educators begins with an overview of restorative practices in education, circle guidelines, community building circles basics, and connections to CASEL’s (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) standards. Do you have any suggestions, changes, or deletions? I’d love to hear from my readers.

  • 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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