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The Restorative Practices Playbook

The Restorative Practices Playbook
Tools for Transforming Discipline in Schools

Foreword by Zachary Scott Robbins

184 pages | Corwin

Utilize restorative practices to create a safe, accepting, and equitable school climate where learning can flourish.

When students have unfinished learning, educators create opportunities for students to learn. Unfortunately, this role seems to end when it comes to behavior. How can we turn behavior into a teachable moment?

The Restorative Practices Playbook details a set of practices designed to teach prosocial behaviors based on strong relationships and a commitment to the well-being of others. Implementing restorative practices establishes a positive academic and social-emotional learning environment while building students’ capacity to self-regulate, make decisions, and self-govern—the very skills students need to achieve. In this eye-opening, essential playbook, renowned educators Dominique Smith, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey support educators with the reflection prompts, tools, examples, and strategies needed to create restorative practices around several key concepts:

  • A restorative school culture, grounded in respect, that builds agency and identity, establishes teacher credibility, sets high expectations, and fosters positive relationships
  • Restorative conversations that equip adults and students with the capacity to resolve problems, make decisions, and arrive at solutions in ways that are satisfactory and growth-producing
  • Restorative circles that promote academic learning through dialogue, build consensus in decision making, and help participants reach resolution through healing
  • Formal restorative conferences that foster guided dialogue between victim(s) and offender(s) and include plans for re-entry into the school community

By becoming adept in the skillful use of restorative practices, educators will foster equitable discipline that reduces exclusion and creates a school community driven by relationships and respect.

Foreword by Zachary Scott Robbins
Module 1: The Logic of Restorative Practices
Module 2: Foundations of Respect
Module 3: Establishing Expectations and Teaching for Engagement
Module 4: Restorative Conversations Using Affective Statements
Module 5: Restorative Conversations Using Impromptu Conversations
Module 6: Restorative Circles
Module 7: Formal Restorative Conferences and Victim-Offender Dialogues
What Does Success Look Like?

Schools are a community, and all communities experience challenges and success. One of the challenges we commonly face is supporting our educators in understanding how to meet our students’ social-emotional and behavioral needs in a way that provides proactive and sustainable solutions. The Restorative Practices Playbook is an outstanding resource any educator can use to start their journey toward positive change. This book is full of practical tools and examples that can support an individual teacher or create system-wide change. I highly recommend this book to all educators.

Heath Peine
Executive Director of Student Support Services, Wichita Public Schools

I haven’t been as excited about the implications of any book I have read as I have with The Restorative Practices Playbook. As we continue to evolve in our discipline methods as a district, this playbook offers a systematic guide that can help us to reflect and adjust our practices. We need to offer better solutions to support positive behavior in our schools and this book provides action steps to make those changes happen.

Kris Felicello
Superintendent of Schools, North Rockland Central School District

This book has many great activities. This book aligned best with multicultural course.

Professor Jennifer Carhart
College Of Education, California St Univ-San Bernardino
June 13, 2023

Sample Materials & Chapters

Sample Pages

Dominique Smith

Dominique Smith, Ed.D. is Chief of Educational Services and Teacher Support at Health Sciences High and Middle College in San Diego, CA. He is passionate about creating school cultures that honor students and build their confidence and competence. Smith's major area of research and instruction focuses on restorative practices, classroom management, growth mindset, and the culture of achievement. In addition to his school leadership responsibilities, Smith provides professional learning to K–12 teachers in groups large and small, on many topics that address classroom and school climate and organization. He is a regular presenter at many... More About Author

Douglas Fisher

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is professor and chair of educational leadership at San Diego State University and a leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. Previously, Doug was an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association William S. Grey citation of merit and an Exemplary Leader award from the Conference on English Leadership of NCTE. He has published numerous articles on teaching and learning as well as books such as The Teacher Clarity Playbook, PLC+, Visible Learning for Literacy, Comprehension: The Skill, Will, and Thrill of Reading, How Tutoring Works, and... More About Author

Nancy Frey

Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is a Professor in Educational Leadership at San Diego State and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. She is a member of the International Literacy Association’s Literacy Research Panel. Her published titles include Visible Learning in Literacy, This Is Balanced Literacy, Removing Labels, and Rebound. Nancy is a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California and learns from teachers and students every day. More About Author

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