A Time of Change

Suddenly in the last few weeks, I can’t keep enough band aids stocked in my classroom. It seems like every time I look over, I see one of my students putting a band aid on a hangnail, paper cut, or other miniscule hurt. "My eye hurts,”“my leg aches,” and”my arm is itchy” are common complaints these days. I’ve spent enough years teaching third graders to recognize that complaining about aches, pains, and injuries is a common characteristic of nine year olds. My students are getting older.
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The Fervent Fourteens

Fourteen-year-olds seem to have mostly gotten used to the idea of being teenagers. Their moods are not as mercurial as at thirteen. They are somewhat more comfortable in their own skin and…
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The Thriving Thirteens

The thirteen-year-old has lots of positive attributes to help navigate the first of these teen years. At the forefront are a keen sense of humor and a sense of silliness that makes…
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Morning Meeting and Older Students

If you teach older students—those between 10 and 14—you may have wondered if Morning Meeting is appropriate for them. Can you spare the time from the intensifying academic focus in the upper…
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The Twixt Twelve-Year-Old

Closer to teenagers than to middle childhood, twelves are tweens. They have enormous positive energy for independent and group endeavors, whether at school, in sports, or in after-school activities.
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The Electric Eleven-Year-Old

Powerful advocates and strong believers, elevens are passionate about their ideas and opinions, allegiances and sense of justice. They’re devoted to classmates and peer groups, and the social negotiations surrounding cliques (which…
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What’s Changed?

One of my favorite times of the school year is right after the winter holiday break. That first week back reminds me of the first days of school—many students come in wearing…
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Do Your Students Seem Older?

Have you noticed an age shift in your class now that it's the middle of the year? It always seemed to me that when we'd come back from February vacation, my students…
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