Our Words Matter

Our students have experienced unprecedented changes in their daily routines and communities. The focused attention on racial injustice after George Floyd’s murder and calls for societal and governmental change at all levels have brought uncertainty and in many cases turmoil into the lives of our students and their families. When we return to school, we Read More »
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More Grows in the Garden Than the Gardener Knows He Has Planted

I once observed a classroom where a teacher attempted to gain the attention of a classroom actively and excitedly engaging in a science experiment by using her loudest voice possible to announce,…
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Ending the School Year with Distance Learning

The end of any school year can be a bittersweet time for both teachers and students. This year, these feelings are heightened as we consider how to have closure with our students…
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Supporting Students Offline

Many teachers have had to make the difficult transition from in-person to online teaching in a short period of time with little training and few resources, while other teachers have not been…
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Supporting Students’ Self-Care Virtually

It’s important to practice self-care, but doing so on a regular basis can be challenging at the best of times! One way you can develop your own self-care practices, as well as…
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Self-care Reflection

Everybody reacts differently to stressful situations. With acute changes to normal routines, concern about the possibility of illness, and isolation from social distancing, this a uniquely stressful time, making self-care even more…
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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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Maintaining a Positive Community Remotely

Over the weekend, a friend shared a video with me that you may have seen as well, as it has been widely shared on social media. The video was taken in a…
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Finding Time for Self-Care During the School Day

Research doesn’t have to tell us the effect teachers’ mental and emotional health has on the classroom community (though it does). As we all know from experience, it impacts not only ourselves…
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Helping Students Turn Anxiety into Achievement

According to the Child Mind Institute, there has been a 17% increase in anxiety disorder diagnoses in young people. When these children show up in our classrooms, they want to be successful…
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Making Test Prep Engaging and Stress Free

When we think of spring, we imagine birds chirping, leaves turning green, flowers blooming, and the sun shining its warmth over everything. If you are an educator, spring has a second meaning:…
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Student Sharing: A Strategy for Culturally Responsive Teaching

Responsive Classroom strategies, structures, and techniques offer a wide array of practices we can use for culturally responsive teaching. One of these strategies is student sharing. Providing opportunities for students to share…
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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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Strategies for Cultivating a Classroom That Represents Students

Imagine walking into a family member’s home and seeing your photograph on the mantel, or being in class and hearing your professor use a cultural reference you connect with. These experiences make…
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Strengthening Your Community: Continuing to Connect with Students and Families

Recently, as I was returning a rental car, the associate behind the desk asked me an all-too-familiar question: “How was everything?” Without very much thought, I smiled and provided my routine answer:…
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Valuing Cultural Norms That Differ From Your Own

Black History Month is an opportunity for us as educators not only to teach students about historic contributors to our American history, but also to help students experience and find value in…
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Strategies for Getting Students Back on Track

Helping students get back on track when they are engaged in off-task or rule-breaking behavior is an important goal when responding to misbehavior. We want students to quickly get back to positively…
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Revisiting Routines with Students

Does this sound familiar? You teach your students classroom routines at the beginning of the year and watch as they integrate these new routines into their learning, but for some reason –…
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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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It’s a New Year – Time to Look at Students Through a New Lens

A new calendar year provides the ideal occasion to reflect on who our students are now compared to who they were at the beginning of the year. Depending on how early the…
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Goal Setting: An Ongoing Method for Channeling New Energy

Every January 1st, we all receive a chance to start fresh. While many of us set a New Year’s resolution, often we only manage to stick with it for a week or two! What…
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Building a Positive Community Through Reflection

As the year draws to an end, we find ourselves reflecting on the past 12 months. New Year’s Eve in 2019 also marks the end of the decade! Reflection can be a…
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Use Envisioning Language and Goal Setting to Promote Student Reflection

Showing Students What Is Possible The language we use with students every day influences how they see themselves. Our words can shape students’ views of themselves years after our direct influence. Envisioning…
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Stop and Think: Teaching Students to Reflect

As educators, we all want to help our students develop valuable life-long skills, including the ability to think critically about their own work, truly know themselves and their learning styles, reflect on…
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Rediscovering the Power of Reflection

There are days when, as educators, so many tasks are vying for our attention that our to-do lists feel endless. During these hectic days, reflection — a key piece of teaching and…
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