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In a class of 15 four year olds, things can get noisy during talking time. We sit in a circle on the rug, crosslegged. The children share their thoughts with us.

The Talking Stick is a sparkly baton that must be held in order to speak. If you have posession of the Stick, you are free to share. Once the stick gets passed on, you relinquish your platform and listen to others.

This works pretty well, the children often passing on the stick when someone else seems bursting with an urgent tidbit. Sometimes holding on to it while they think of what to say. Silent, gripping it, hemming and hawing so as not to lose out in case something new develops. They learn the dynamics of conversation, of respect.

Hell, they mostly learn how to listen.

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