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.
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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…
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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…
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Whose Classroom Is It?

One way the Responsive Classroom approach has changed my teaching is that I have learned to think of the classroom as a space that belongs to all of us, rather than as…
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Envisioning Your Classroom

I started setting up my classroom a few days ago, and of course I was thinking about the first days of school, but what really guided my decisions was a vision of…
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Are You Having Fun?

One afternoon in late October, my third grade class laughed together for the first time this year. It happened as we were getting ready to transition from science to math. "Okay," I…
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November Blues

What teachers have to deal with at this time of year (in addition to teaching, of course) can be daunting—writing report cards, meeting with families at conferences, grading papers, adjusting to a…
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Classroom Display Ideas

Last spring, I encouraged you to take a good, hard look at your classroom displays and think about how, in the future, you might increase the emphasis on displaying student work and…
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Need a New Mattress?

At this time of year, people who work in schools often start feeling a bit frayed. Now that the school year is well underway, the "honeymoon period" of the first weeks is…
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Downtime

By mid-July, my two children had finally settled into summer. I knew when I got downstairs one morning and saw my nine-year-old son, Ethan, coming through the back door in his bathrobe…
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Mudge

How can you create a powerful sense of community in your classroom? With the leisure of summer, we can ponder questions like this and plan ahead for next year.
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Welcoming Hannah

One November morning, I learned that Hannah, a transfer student, would join my third grade class the very next day. Feeling fortunate to have a little notice, I shared the news with…
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Success for Substitutes

Just about every teacher needs to be away from the classroom at some point during the year. Whether you're away for a half day, a day, or several days, you'll want to…
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Our Passion for Teaching

I was so moved by your responses to my last post about the importance of bringing joy to classrooms! The images of college students being read to, classes dancing at “boogie breaks,”…
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The Importance of Joy

I’ve been thinking recently yet again about how important joy is to classroom life and learning. My ten-year-old niece got me started down this path when she returned from visiting a school…
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Bringing Classroom Rules to Life

School rules. The mere mention of these words can elicit heavy sighs and moans from children and adults alike. Rules order us around. Rules constrict us. "No running, no hitting, no pushing,…
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