Inviting All Winter Holidays Into the Classroom

Q: The students in my classroom come from many different traditions and cultures. I know the winter holidays could be a great opportunity for students to learn about each other’s cultures, but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any suggestions? A: I think asking this question shows that you’re already on your Read More »
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How Social Distancing Helped Me Up My Interactive Learning Structure Game

Six feet of distance. Masks indoors. Individual materials for all. All the new safety requirements felt overwhelming when my middle schoolers sauntered into B-5 after ten weeks of virtual learning. We had…
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How Have We Reimagined Teaching, Leading, and Communicating in our Schools?

Recently there has been discussion in our education ranks about how students have not had an uninterrupted school year for over eighteen months. The disruption started at the end of the 2019–2020…
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Apps That Grew My Responsive Classroom Practices Despite the Hurdles COVID Created

The past two years have undoubtedly shaken up the way I approach teaching. Beginning the 2020–2021 school year virtually produced many daunting questions. How could I build community? How could I create…
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How Do You Know It Is Happening? Six Clues That May Indicate Cyberbullying

Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior between school-aged children. It is a way that a child with physical or social power abuses a less powerful child. Cyberbullying, according to the U.S. Department of…
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What Should I Do? Six Strategies to Use When You Notice Cyberbullying

You hear mean and unwelcome teasing as students do math activities on electronic devices. You see exclusion when a group of students are playing an online game. You suspect that students are…
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Redefining Student Success

Traditions feel good. It is why we sing songs that we know well, why we go to the same store each week, and why we drive to work the same way even…
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The Power of Purposeful Assessment

Every educator had hoped to begin this school year in a more familiar fashion, but as the year kicks off, it is clear that we are still not even close to normal.…
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Table Test Page


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Bringing Things Into View: Strengthening Family Involvement

The beginning of the school year is a time to get to know our students. We prepare community-building activities and lessons to help students feel safe in their classrooms and school and…
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I’m Not Acting as Role Model, I’m Serving as a Role Model: A Conversation with Authors Julie Kelly and Kirsten Howard

Julie Kelly and Kirsten Howard are Responsive Classroom consulting teachers and contributing authors for the forthcoming Empowering Educators series (Julie worked on Empowering Educators for Grades 3, 4, 5; Kirsten worked on…
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Empowering Educators to Get to Know Their Students: A Conversation with Authors Andy Moral and Heather Young

  Early in the school year, all educators are faced with the same important task: getting to know their new students. To learn some effective strategies for making connections with students at…
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Peanut Butter, Grape Jelly Song

  As seen in The First Six Weeks of School, 2nd edition!  “Peanut Butter, Grape Jelly” Peanut butter, grape jelly, peanut butter, jam Peanut butter, grape jelly, peanut butter, jam Peanut butter,…
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Empowering Adults to Support Each Other at the Beginning of a New School Year: A Conversation with Authors Emily Parrelli and Lisa Dewey Wells

  Empowering Adults to Support Each Other at the Beginning of a New School Year:  A Conversation with Authors Emily Parrelli and Lisa Dewey Wells   Emily Parrelli and Lisa Dewey Wells…
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A Successful Start to the Year – One School’s Story of Adults Making a Difference by Working Together

  In the first week of my teaching career, I had a colleague say to me, “You get only one chance to start the year off in a good place – if…
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Meaningful Learning Through the Natural Learning Cycle

  A new book from CRS Publishing, Make Learning Meaningful: How to Leverage the Brain’s Natural Learning Cycle in K–8 Classrooms, offers a brain-based approach to sustaining student engagement and provides examples…
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Rebuild, Repair, and Renew Relationships with Parents for the New School Year

The beginning of the school year is a special opportunity: both a fresh start and a chance to apply lessons from the previous year. With an especially tumultuous year behind us, that…
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Agency and Service – A Meaningful Start to the New School Year

Start the Year with Depth Connect students to the greater good from the beginning. In a recent episode of the podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant, Dr. Vivek Murthy, the current United States…
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Plan Proactively: Your Top Four Before Students Enter the Door

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…receiving your class roster for the new school year! You’re anxious to start planning and preparing for the students who will soon be sitting at their…
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Welcome Friends

With a new school year right around the corner, the first place my mind goes to is how I will organize and prepare my physical space. As a counselor for my school’s…
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Finding Small Moments Throughout the Year to Recharge

My grandma used to say, “You can’t pour from an empty pitcher.” We all know that teaching can be a stressful job. During the school year, we devote so much of our…
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Summer Travel Tips

The summer is an exciting time. The warmth brings with it opportunities to travel for vacations and, sometimes, work. As we emerge from this terrible pandemic, many of us are eager to take to…
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Summer Reading List

The summer is a special season for educators. Our relationship to time changes in the summer: the sense that we are racing the clock to get everything done is replaced by the…
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Summer Bucket List

In July, the school is quiet. The daily stream of buses has stopped rolling in. Students, educators, and families have signed off from final Zoom meetings. July is a month for every…
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Learning Floats on the Sea of Talk:

  In Conversation with Wisconsin Principal of the Year Tina Miller Tina Miller has been in education for 21 years – including the last five years as principal of Howe Elementary in…
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Learning Gains, Reflective Practices, and Looking Ahead: A Conversation About Teaching Middle School During a Pandemic

Jean Holenko is a Responsive Classroom consulting teacher in her 27th year of teaching. She has been using the Responsive Classroom approach with students since 2001 and has been sharing it with…
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Decades from Now, What Will Be the Story You Tell?

I recently had the opportunity to reconnect with educators I worked with at the school where I began my teaching career. Many of them came straight from productive days in their various…
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