August 2017 Update: Since I wrote this post, Pam Moran shared with me a wonderful example of high school students presenting a rap cypher:
Note that I couldn't find an example of a rap cypher without swears and other words generally not accepted in school. As I read Emdin's book, I'm going to think about that. I did think this was a good example of a rap cypher though with regard to "privileging every voice," listening to one another, respecting individuality, and the artistry involved. I have more to learn in this realm and if you have good examples for school use, let me know. Below is an example of a children's rap cypher in Minnesota.
I really like what he has to say in this chapter and I'd like to try it out this year. Last year I committed to a similar process, but I didn't do a good job and I didn't sustain the effort. I wonder if my colleagues would be interested in committing to this process too as I think if we do it together we'd be more likely to implement this vital process well.
I will start by identify four students who represent diverse groups from the class. We'll meet at lunch on the same day each week, a day when I don't have playground duty. As Emdin suggests, we'll begin with a small classroom issue, and I follow the decision of the group to build trust and work towards a co-constructed classroom environment.
More details about the process can be found in the tweets below and in Emdin's book. I can truly see how this effort would truly help to build a more dynamic class community.