What is Responsive Advisory Meeting?

Responsive Advisory Meeting serves as an anchor for adolescents, a predictable routine that students need more than ever as they undergo rapid physical, emotional, and intellectual changes. Just as Morning Meeting helps build community, Advisory provides a space and structure for teachers to support middle school students, both individually and as a group, as they develop their sense of self and identity in connection to their relationships with peers.
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What’s in a Name?

How do you refer to the students in your class when addressing them? At first glance, this may seem like a trivial issue; but consider how many times throughout the day we…
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Take it Slow with Morning Meeting

It's hard to believe that the school year is upon us. I remember the excitement—and apprehension—I felt as I made my lesson plans for the first weeks of school. One of the…
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Relationships: Always More to Learn

I teach a class of fourth graders with a span of academic skills, developmental characteristics, and cultural and economic backgrounds. If I had to describe what makes such a diverse class work…
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Easy Ways to Vary Morning Meeting Greetings

How can you keep the sense of comfortable routine while also varying Morning Meetings enough to keep students (and adults) interested and engaged? Greetings can set the tone for the whole meeting—and…
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Teaching Skillful Communication

Ryan holds up the book so all his classmates can see the cover and begins: "Reptile Facts is my favorite first grade book. Every first grader should read this book because it…
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When the Wheels Start to Wobble

Ever drive down the road and realize the car is wobbly and perhaps in need of alignment? Sometimes I just know my class is going to feel the same way. Right before a…
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Making Up for Lost Time

"Maybe we'll get to teach in February." That's been the joke at my school after snow, ice, and extreme cold, plus holidays and teacher workdays meant that last month we had only…
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Magnetic Friendships

As a kid, I was fascinated by magnets: the force they exert, the way they could push and pull through tables, windows, and papers . . . sometimes without even touching! Now…
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Keeping Morning Meeting Greetings Fresh and Fun

After doing many Morning Meetings, teachers often wonder how to keep the sense of comfortable routine while also varying the meetings enough to keep students (and adults) interested and engaged. Greetings can…
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Ask Yourself Why

What's your vision for your classroom community this year? How do you want the room to look, sound, and feel once the first weeks of school are over? In my last post,…
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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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Enjoying Each Student

With some classes, the characteristics of the group tend to overshadow the personalities and interests of individual students. Earlier this year, I had that experience with my current third grade class, and…
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How Well Do Your Students Know Each Other?

Great teachers work on building a sense of community in their classrooms all year long. They understand that helping students build relationships with each other is a key to creating an optimal…
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How Well Do You Know Your Students?

I'd like you to try a challenge I used to give myself several times a year when I was a classroom teacher. First, divide a piece of paper into three columns. In…
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Building Community Through Academics

When they are working towards a common goal, engaged in a fascinating topic, or trying to figure out a solution for a meaningful problem, students feel more connected to school and each…
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No Ordinary Monday

Teachers, principals, and other school staff nationwide are thinking about what to do and what to say tomorrow when they and their students return to school in the wake of the horrific…
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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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The Value of Struggle

"When did your courage surprise you?" I was profoundly moved by this question when it was posed at a conference I attended years ago, and it came back to me recently when…
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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 Jobs

Monday mornings were especially exciting in my classroom because that’s when students discovered what their weekly jobs would be. They would go straight to the classroom job chart and search for their…
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Closing Circle Idea: Maître d’

Closing Circle is a positive, structured way to bring closure to the school day. It takes just a few minutes and is a time for students to reflect and celebrate what they…
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Memory Collections and Community Building

Like every teacher, I spend part of each summer imagining the students who will be in my care for the next 180 days and thinking about the best way to begin the…
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Group Activity Idea: Lost Tooth Poem

Here’s a Morning Meeting activity idea from 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades K–2, by Susan Lattanzi Roser: Lost Tooth Poem Children will relate to this poem about a missing tooth! My…
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Sharing Idea: Who Remembers My Favorite Book?

Playing a fun remembering game builds on children's listening and memory skills.
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Greeting Idea: Secret Handshake

Here’s a Morning Meeting greeting idea from 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades 3–6, by Carol Davis: Secret Handshake Greeting Creating secret handshakes taps students’ creativity and builds community. How to do…
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Greeting Idea: Backward Day Handshake

Here’s a Morning Meeting greeting idea from 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades K–2, by Susan Lattanzi Roser: Backward Day Handshake Greeting Students pass along a friendly handshake, but say the greeting…
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