Student-Led All-School Meetings Bring the School Community Together

In a school with over 500 students and more than eighty staff, it can be difficult to get to know one another. At K.T. Murphy Elementary School in Stamford, Connecticut, the staff and administrators addressed this by creating an all-school meeting format that uses the structure of Morning Meeting.
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Opening Soon!

An exciting way to introduce classroom materials and learning areas slowly, safely, and with a sense of ownership and fun As eager kindergarten students enter the classroom on the first Read More…
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A Teacher’s Rules

July 2004In the school where I taught for many years, students and teachers worked together in the first weeks of school to create classroom rules that were based on everyone's hopes and…
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Lively Learning

When I was in elementary school more than fifty years ago, I struggled with geography. I found it very hard to keep all those place names and locations straight. The only thing…
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Building Empathy for a “Trouble-Maker”

Chris was a student who struggled socially. He was in Sarah Fiarman’s mixed-grade class for two years, first as a fifth grader and then as a sixth. Of all the points working…
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Speaking Up

Question:Every year I have students who seldom or never speak up in a large group. Often, but not always, these are children from non-mainstream cultures. Do you think it’s important for all…
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What is Responsive Classroom Time-Out?

When used calmly, consistently, and respectfully, Responsive Classroom time-out can be a valuable strategy for helping students develop self-control while keeping the classroom calm, safe, and orderly.Santiago is at the interactive whiteboard,…
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Keeping Connected

It’s sharing time during Morning Meeting in Ms. Roberts’s first grade classroom. Jarrod is enthusiastically telling his classmates about the photos they will see when they look at his “family album.” The…
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Child Development

Question:What are your goals in sharing knowledge about child development with students’ families, and how do you go about it?
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The Power of Language

A teacher's language is a powerful teaching tool. Our language can build children up or tear them down. It can model respectful and caring social interactions or just the opposite. Effective language…
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What Did You Say?

Joey, a second grader, returns from a doctor's appointment in the middle of a math lesson. "Welcome back, Joey," his teacher says with a smile. "We're working together to solve the problem…
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Homework Blues?

Question: For some children, doing homework is a way to show their growing sense of competence and independence. But for other children, homework is a constant source of frustration and discouragement. How…
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Nice Work

As first appeared in Education Week, April 30, 2003. Adapted and reprinted with permission.The children in Jessica Kimmel's fifth grade class at Hyde Elementary School in Washington, DC, are gathered in a…
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Morning Meeting Begins at 7:15 p.m.!

It's back-to-school night at Flanders Elementary School in East Lyme, Connecticut. As parents and guardians arrive at Andy Dousis's fourth grade classroom, he welcomes them warmly and invites them to read the…
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Welcoming All Families

Question:I know that it's important to have a good working relationship with the parents and care-takers of the children in my classroom. The children come from diverse backgrounds, with differences in ethnicity,…
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Everyday Rules That Work!

Scholastic published this article on the Responsive Classroom approach to rules and logical consequences for the August 2003 issue of Instructor magazine. It was reprinted with permission on the Responsive Classroom website,…
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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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A Quiet Place for Rough Moments

Alison, a young five-year-old I taught recently, struggled with separation anxiety at the beginning of the year. She had a hard time saying goodbye to her dad when he dropped her off…
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Traveling Rules

Q: The classroom environment is calmer and friendlier when I work with the children to create classroom rules. But I still get reports from lunch, recess, and special area teachers about problematic…
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In Just a Minute

The classroom day is filled with times when children need to wait. They wait in line until everyone cleans up. They wait their turn at the drinking fountain. They wait in the…
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Group Activities That Reinforce Academic Skills

Question: I'm concerned that the group activity portion of our Morning Meeting mostly has become a time to play games. I know it’s important for the students to have fun together, but…
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Displaying Student Work

A classroom filled with the work of children is a delight to be in and sends a message to students that their work and their learning are important. Although early in the…
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Singing with Children

I remember singing along with friends in my elementary school days. Teachers and students together began each day with singing. We learned about music from our music teacher, but we sang everywhere,…
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Winter Holidays

Question:The children in my classroom come from many different traditions and cultures. I know the winter holidays could be a great opportunity for children to learn about each other’s cultures but I’m…
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Powerful Words

In 1993, after teaching for twenty years, I still loved my chosen profession, but I often felt frustrated. It seemed as though I spent an inordinate amount of time on classroom management…
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Signals for Quiet

Question: I’ve read about using a signal to get children’s attention and let them know it’s time to be quiet. I’ve tried raising my hand but most of the time, children keep…
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Teaching Children to Care

Editor’s note: Teaching Children to Care by Ruth Sidney Charney, first published in 1991, has transformed many teachers’ practices. This well-loved book has sold over 70,000 copies and is widely Read More…
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