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 if there was an approach to starting fresh in the new year that actually produces results? SMART goals—goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, Read More »
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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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Check the Boxes of Self-Reflection

Our beliefs drive our actions and the results of our actions reinforce our beliefs. When we endeavor to change our actions, often we focus on the relationship between our actions and their…
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Developing Intrinsic Motivation with Choice

According to Vocabulary.com, the word “intrinsic” is an adjective that means “belonging to a thing by its very nature.” Some synonyms for intrinsic are: essential, built-in, constitutional, inherent, integral, inner, internal. This…
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Using Observation to Enhance Learning

This time of year, it can be easy to begin thinking that we’ve got students all figured out. We’ve had them in our classrooms for a couple of months, refreshed our knowledge…
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Igniting the Fires of Learning

By the time the school year reaches November, students feel a familiarity with the rhythm of the school day that leads to more intensified learning. This increase in academic challenges can be…
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Strengthening Students’ Speaking and Listening Skills

Having productive conversations requires students to listen deeply, reflect on what is said, express ideas clearly, sustain attention, ask insightful questions, debate respectfully, and develop comprehension of information taken in. These essential…
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Find Time for Social-Emotional Learning

One of the best parts of being a teacher is having the opportunity to provide students with social and emotional skills (in addition to academic skills) that help them build and maintain…
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Randolph Middle School is School to Watch New Jersey 2019

  In March 2019, Randolph Middle School was recognized as a School to Watch by New Jersey Schools to Watch. Randolph Middle School is the tenth school in the state to receive…
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Bullying Prevention: How Aware Are You? 5 Steps You Can Take

According to stopbullying.gov, between one in four and one in three U.S. students say they have been bullied at school. October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and this provides an opportunity for…
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What to Do When Students Start Testing Limits

The school year is in full swing: hopes and goals have been established, classroom and school expectations are in place, and learning is in high gear. Everything is off to a great…
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Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Re-establishing Balance in Your Classroom

With the changes in fall weather outside, the weather inside the classroom is likely changing too. As a result, teachers often find themselves responding to misbehavior more than they did earlier in…
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Communicating with Families: Operating from a Place of Empathy

It was the morning of the first day of school and for the first time in four years, I was preparing my daughter to attend a school where I was not one…
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Having Effective, Affirming, and Energizing Conversations with Families

Every interaction we have (or don’t have) with parents does, to some degree, reflect how much we value families’ input and the extent to which we see caregivers as our partners in…
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Classroom Organization: Assess How It’s Going

Below are some areas that can help create the conditions for students to feel comfortable and ready to start their work of learning and building a positive classroom community.  Assessing your classroom…
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Creating a Place for Learning

We all can think of stores that felt inviting and organized, places that created the optimal shopping experience. Classrooms, like stores, can be places where we frequently want to spend our time,…
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How to Create Meaningful and Rewarding Relationships with Colleagues

A guiding principle of Responsive Classroom is “How we work together as adults to create a safe, joyful, and inclusive school environment is as important as our individual contribution or competence.” In…
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Preparing Students to Become Independent Learners using Routines & Procedures

It’s the start of a new year! Day one is either right around the corner or has just recently taken place. The beginning of the year is filled with so many fresh…
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Setting Goals, Hopes, and Dreams: Connecting Students to the Community

Watching a student show up to school each day excited to learn is one of the great joys of teaching. We give our students that spark when we help them figure out…
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Establishing Balance at the Start of the School Year

Summer’s adventures and excursions are dwindling, and your email inbox is filling up with welcome back notifications, professional growth opportunities, new initiatives, and meetings. These clear signs that a new school year…
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Relax, Reflect, Recalibrate

It’s the middle of the summer, another school year is successfully in the books, and preparations for the new school year are not quite in full swing. Now — while you’re hopefully…
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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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Six Ways to Celebrate Poetry Month in the Classroom

Did you know that according to poets.org, National Poetry Month is actually the biggest literary celebration in the world? It’s never too early to start fostering a love of the English language…
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Challenge Is a Part of Learning

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” –Frederick Douglass This famous quote, printed on bright pink cardstock and posted above the whiteboard of a third grade classroom, stood out during…
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