Closing Circles

Bringing the school day to a peaceful end enhances learning and reaffirms classroom community. Gather with your class for a 5- or 10-minute activity before dismissal and you'll all leave school feeling…
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Closing Circle Idea: Maître d’

Closing Circle is a positive, structured way to bring closure to the school day. It takes just a few minutes and is a time for students to reflect and celebrate what they…
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Closing Circle Idea: Good-bye Cadence

The end of the school day can be a hectic time in the classroom. With children heading out in different directions, it’s common for teachers to feel overwhelmed and frustrated as the…
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Closing Circle

A productive, purposeful hum fills Ms. Vincent's fourth grade classroom as the school day draws to a close and students complete their end-of-day jobs. Ten minutes before dismissal, when everyone is packed…
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Meaningful Closings

Educators spend the school year establishing and then nurturing classroom environments in which students feel a genuine sense of belonging. The exceptional challenges of this particular year introduced greater opportunities to create…
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Closing Meeting

It's 3:23 and my class has just finished a science experiment. I look at the clock and realize we have seven minutes to clean up from science and do everything else we…
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Choices Choices

When I look around my classroom, I see students making choices. The first graders I teach make choices all through the day, from the time they arrive until Closing Circle.
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Finding Time before Dismissal

"How do I make the time for a Closing Circle at the end of the school day?" That is definitely the question I hear most from people who want to start using…
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The Power of Making Time for Personal Reflection

From closing circle to Academic Choice to problem-solving conferences, we all know that student reflection plays a central role in Responsive Classroom teaching practices. It may be less well known how important…
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Time to Let Students Shine

  Regardless of if your model of instruction has been remote, hybrid, or in-person during this unique school year, your students have grown over the course of their time in your class.…
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Sustaining Safety, Joy, and Challenge for Students with Diverse Learning Needs

  All of us, students and teachers alike, approach the end of the school year with a wide variety of feelings. Just as teachers might be feeling burned out right now, it…
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Webinar: Responsive Classroom Self-Care SELebration

  Date: March 25, 2021 Time: 7:00 pm EST Description: In this interactive webinar, a panel of experienced educators and authors will provide concrete ideas for incorporating self-care strategies that recharge educators…
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How Responsive Classroom Practices Can Act as the Glue for a Virtual Classroom

Ever since March 23, 2020, when the school where I work, Steel City Academy, transitioned to virtual learning, I’ve found myself constantly asking what education will look like moving forward. This school…
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Evenings Sustaining Responsive Classroom Momentum – Eastern Time

Sustaining momentum and change can be a challenge.  Many times teachers may start out strong and then lose steam both throughout the school day and the school year. Along the way, that…
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Kristen Vincent

Kristen Vincent is a consultant for Center for Responsive Schools and has over 20 years of experience working in education. She began her teaching career as an educator at the New England…
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Providing A Sense of Normalcy Amidst Uncertainty

Morning Meeting and closing circle are the bookends of the day. These powerful strategies ensure that students start and close their days with a sense of purpose and connectedness. These time-honored routines…
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Tips, Activity Ideas, and Resources for Virtual Learning

As you make the transition to online teaching, here are some tips, activity ideas, and resources to support your virtual classroom: Communicate to parents the supplies their children will need for at-home…
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Using the Responsive Classroom Approach to Support ALL Students

Ensuring that all our students are academically engaged is our highest priority as educators. We want to teach our students the skills needed to creatively engage with content while becoming critical thinkers—…
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Breathing New Life into the Rules

Teachers and students alike return from a well-deserved winter break refreshed, looking toward new possibilities. The new year welcomes endless opportunities to reestablish goals, renew and revisit routines, and refresh well-known class…
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The End of the School Year: A Time to Pause and Celebrate Successes

The walls of the classroom look emptier than they looked a month ago and a few remnants of the presence of students remain: a pencil here or a sticky note there containing…
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What Are Your Hopes?

As we prepare for our upcoming Teachers and Leadership Conferences, we’ve been thinking a lot about hope. Students’ hopes and dreams are, of course, an integral part of the beginning of the…
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Helping Students Give Effective Compliments

Telling students what they’re doing right is one of the most powerful tools we have for helping them solidify and build on their positive behaviors and skills—and teachers aren’t the only ones…
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Principles & Practices

The Responsive Classroom approach to teaching is comprised of a set of well-designed practices intended to create safe, joyful, and engaging classrooms and school communities. The emphasis is on helping students develop…
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Taking Positive Language Schoolwide

Positive language is a powerful tool for building a calm, safe school climate. The words we use when we talk to students, the intention behind these words, and how we deliver them…
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Our Hopes and Dreams for School

Inviting students to name learning goals (hopes and dreams) right away shows them that school is a safe place, that they’re important members of the classroom, and that they can look forward…
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Special Area Rules

Special area teachers may come up with their area rules on their own, use or adapt classroom rules, or use schoolwide rules. No matter where your special area rules come from, the…
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Joyful Endings: The Last Few Weeks of School

Although we hope that our students’ learning won’t stop just because school does, it’s good to help them reach a sense of closure during the last few weeks of the year. Good…
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