​​​​Six Tools for Restorative and Relational Practices

Connection Toolkit

Our 6.0 Connection Toolkit features six proactive tools that help our teachers build and sustain relationships in the classroom. We invite you to explore these tools as you look to build—and sustain—relationships with your students.

60-Second Relate Break

A 60 Second Relate Break is similar to a typical “brain break” that takes place in the classroom. The teacher presents a question to the class. Sets a timer for 60 seconds and guides students to start sharing in a “turn and talk” manner to those around them. The teacher walks around the class listening to students share their responses. At the end of the time, the teacher shares their personal response to the prompted question, so students can learn about you. Focus on students learning about each other and you learning about them!

Additional Examples

2-Minute Connections

Invest two minutes by having students stand around the room (NOT in a circle) for a “Stand and Share” session. Pose a question(s). Set a timer. Teacher shares first. Pick direction and guide students to respond to the prompted question by a head turn making sure students feel safe to share but are not required. The physical space between students and teacher will allow students to connect with others as they listen to students respond to the question(s). Focus on students learning about each other and you learning about them!

Pictures of 2-Minute Connections

2-Minute Connection - NEDRP
2-Minute Connection - NEDRP

Detailed Instructions

Two Minute Connections are designed to take place daily in each of your classes. Yes, you read that correct - daily.

We believe that investing two minutes each day brings more value than attempting to build or sustain community through other practices once a week or monthly. The key is to build and sustain relationships in micro-frequencies realistically for teachers at all grade levels.

In this exercise, you will create questions to share with your students. There are a variety of ways to collect Two Minute Connection questions.

As an educator, we believe that the best way to generate these questions are to have the students develop and collect them in some type of container. There are some teachers, especially at the high school level, that are more comfortable just having the TMC questions generated for them by other educators or resources.

90 Second Spark

A plan for teachers to create opportunities to build and sustain relationships with students by developing a plan to “Meet-n-Greet" their students in a way that is genuine and authentic. In addition, this plan provides a structure to provide a positive interactions between students to increase the “positive energy” in the classroom. Focus on students experiencing and demonstrating care and empathy during these interactions!

Spark Examples and Spark Plan

90 Second Spark - A Social and Emotional Relationship Building Tool for Schools
90 Second Spark - A Social and Emotional Relationship Building Tool for Schools

Big Sparks

2-Minute Connection - NEDRP
2-Minute Connection - NEDRP

Big Sparks Detailed Instructions

Big Sparks provide a proactive platform for classroom teachers to create an intentional plan for students to begin each class by spending the first 90 seconds of the class interacting with each other in a positive manner, thus creating “Positive Sparks!”

These brief moments of starting the class are not simply checking in with students about their weekend or their day. That question may not elicit a “positive” response. This Spark Plan must direct the interactions of the students and teachers to interact with each other in a positive manner.

Wall Pictures

90 Second Spark - A Social and Emotional Relationship Building Tool for Schools
90 Second Spark - A Social and Emotional Relationship Building Tool for Schools
90 Second Spark - A Social and Emotional Relationship Building Tool for Schools

Pulse Meters

A tool to use with students that helps develop a students own social and emotional vocabulary by allowing them to choose a color, number or some other scale that will help them describe their current state of emotions. These are great tools to check-in, check-up or check-out with students. Focus on allowing the students to feel safe in sharing their “pulse” when these tools are utilized in the classroom!

Treatment Agreement

This is a three section social compact that is introduced into the classroom to help establish norms and guidelines on how we treat each other. Classroom communities have found this to be a powerful tool that empowers students and teachers to develop a sense of ownership and accountability and within the classroom space. Focus on using this as a redirect tool and extending this concept into a weekly Relationship Goal for students to strive to improve the way they treat each other.

Treatment Agreement Template

Treatment Agreement - SEL with NEDRP

Picture Examples

Treatment Agreement - SEL with NEDRP
Treatment Agreement - SEL with NEDRP
Treatment Agreement - SEL with NEDRP

More Examples of Treatment Agreements

Treatment Agreement - SEL with NEDRP
Treatment Agreement - SEL with NEDRP

Wall Pictures

90 Second Spark - A Social and Emotional Relationship Building Tool for Schools
90 Second Spark - A Social and Emotional Relationship Building Tool for Schools
90 Second Spark - A Social and Emotional Relationship Building Tool for Schools

GTKY Circles

These classroom circles are designed to build community by getting to know each other while in the shape of a circle. These are non-content based circles where students are encouraged to share responses that are fun and enlightening. These are not trauma based or deep-ended circles. The circle components consist of 3-5 guidelines, a talking piece, and 4 GTKY questions. Focus on creating a safe space where students can pass if they need to but have a voice when it is their turn!

Get To Know You Plans Template

GTKY - SEL Circles from NEDRP
GTKY - SEL Circles from NEDRP

Circle Scripts

GTKY - SEL Circles from NEDRP
GTKY - SEL Circles from NEDRP

Connection Plan

GTKY - SEL Circles from NEDRP
Treatment Agreement - SEL with NEDRP

More GTKY Circle Scripts

GTKY - SEL Circles from NEDRP
GTKY - SEL Circles from NEDRP
GTKY - SEL Circles from NEDRP

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