Academic Engagement in the Home Stretch

You’ve made it to the last few months of the academic year! From spring fever to state testing, there are lots of reasons why students might need a nudge to stay engaged in academics around this time of year. Here are some tips that can help!
Continue Reading

Revisiting Classroom Rules

How often do you revisit classroom rules? Most teachers establish rules at the beginning of the year, and many devote time to modeling and practicing rules with students in the first weeks…
Continue Reading

Engaging Middle Schoolers During the Holiday Season

With interrupted classroom schedules, school vacations, and increased disruptive student behaviors, managing the classroom can feel like a daunting task during the winter holiday season. With a little strategizing, you can help…
Continue Reading

Self-Assessment and Goal Setting Go Hand in Hand

When built into daily schoolwork, goal-focused self-assessment fosters academic achievement by helping students develop lifelong skills.
Continue Reading

Is Your Classroom Organized for Learning?

School’s over! As you clean table tops, take down anchor charts, and sort supplies, pause and take a look around your classroom. Will you be leaving a space that worked well for…
Continue Reading

Breathe Life into Learning with Engaging Academics

Building the characteristics of engaging academics into lessons helps students do rigorous learning in a dynamic way. Students not only engage with and enjoy their learning, but are more willing to tackle…
Continue Reading

Teaching Perseverance? Try Interactive Modeling

We all know students who seem to give up quickly and appeal for our help, even when the task is appropriately challenging, or students who are reluctant to even start a task…
Continue Reading

Teaching Children to Check Their Own Behavior

“One of my jobs here at school is to help make sure that every single one of you can do your best learning every day.” As a school counselor, that’s how I…
Continue Reading

Our Classroom Walls

During the school day we spend most of our time in our classroom and so do twenty to thirty students (give or take a few!). Many of us feel that our classroom…
Continue Reading

Public Discipline Systems

Public discipline systems—like Class Dojo, stoplights, moving clothespins along a colored card, writing names on the board—can certainly be appealing. Some days can feel as if they’re spent just disciplining, and public…
Continue Reading

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…
Continue Reading

Teaching Without Using Rewards

Children build on their strengths, and to do that building—to grow academically and socially—they need us to recognize and encourage their positive efforts. But what’s the best way to offer that recognition…
Continue Reading

The Building Blocks of Collaboration: Partner and Small-Group Chats (Grades 5–6)

Children learn a great deal, academically and socially, by collaborating—working together toward common goals. A good way to help students begin developing collaboration skills is by teaching them how to exchange ideas,…
Continue Reading

Keeping Rules Front and Center During the Winter Slump

Recently I noticed my first graders having more trouble than usual sticking to our classroom rules. Several possible explanations came to mind as I began to reflect:“Am I not doing something I…
Continue Reading

Keeping Sharing Fresh

In my conversations with teachers I hear a common concern about Morning Meeting at this time of year—how to move forward with sharing. Teachers have long lists of varied ideas for greeting…
Continue Reading

When Children Get Rattled

Remember that children develop new skills over time and at different rates. As they develop greater coping skills, they’ll make mistakes. The calmer you are when they fail to shake off a…
Continue Reading

Go Slow to Go Fast

My second grade class sits cross-legged on the rug. It is the first day of school, and I'm introducing a classroom tool that the children will be using today and all year.…
Continue Reading

Time-Out & Teaching Self-Regulation

As a classroom teacher I looked forward every year to teaching students all kinds of academic concepts and skills that would enable them to be engaged and successful in their learning. Organizing…
Continue Reading

Responsive Classroom and PBIS

"Are Responsive Classroom and PBIS compatible with each other? Can our school use both?" We at Responsive Classroom hear this a lot from educators. If you're hearing the same from colleagues, or…
Continue Reading

Class Memory Books

On Move-Up Day, a rite of passage for the children at my school, I tend to feel a bit wistful as the second graders I've been teaching head off to meet their…
Continue Reading

Reflecting on Your Teaching Year

At the end of another school year, it's tempting to count the days left, wave goodbye to my class, pack up my room, and mentally check out for the summer. I've earned…
Continue Reading

The Hot Seat

Are you looking for interactive learning structures that will help your students gain a deeper understanding of content while also developing and practicing higher level thinking skills? The Hot Seat is a…
Continue Reading

Waiting to Speak

Recently, more than a handful of my first graders were struggling with waiting to ask questions or make comments during direct instruction. I responded by using tried and true teacher practices: giving…
Continue Reading

When the Wheels Start to Wobble

Ever drive down the road and realize the car is wobbly and perhaps in need of alignment? Sometimes I just know my class is going to feel the same way. Right before a…
Continue Reading

Making Up for Lost Time

"Maybe we'll get to teach in February." That's been the joke at my school after snow, ice, and extreme cold, plus holidays and teacher workdays meant that last month we had only…
Continue Reading

Teaching Students to Stay Focused

Welcome to Room 327! Here, on a warm day in May, you'll find thirty third graders reading independently. The room is silent, save for the occasional chuckle or sound of disbelief you…
Continue Reading

Our Classroom Library: Reflections

I'm definitely doing this each year from now on! As the end of the first quarter of the school year rolled around, I reflected on the benefits I'd seen from involving students…
Continue Reading