Providing A Sense of Normalcy Amidst Uncertainty

Morning Meeting and closing circle are the bookends of the day. These powerful strategies ensure that students start and close their days with a sense of purpose and connectedness. These time-honored routines and rituals can provide a sense of normalcy for both teachers and students. Many educators have been engaging students remotely for a few Read More »
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Maintaining a Positive Community Remotely

Over the weekend, a friend shared a video with me that you may have seen as well, as it has been widely shared on social media. The video was taken in a…
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Finding Time for Self-Care During the School Day

Research doesn’t have to tell us the effect teachers’ mental and emotional health has on the classroom community (though it does). As we all know from experience, it impacts not only ourselves…
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Student Sharing: A Strategy for Culturally Responsive Teaching

Responsive Classroom strategies, structures, and techniques offer a wide array of practices we can use for culturally responsive teaching. One of these strategies is student sharing. Providing opportunities for students to share…
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Using the Responsive Classroom Approach to Support ALL Students

Ensuring that all our students are academically engaged is our highest priority as educators. We want to teach our students the skills needed to creatively engage with content while becoming critical thinkers—…
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Strategies for Cultivating a Classroom That Represents Students

Imagine walking into a family member’s home and seeing your photograph on the mantel, or being in class and hearing your professor use a cultural reference you connect with. These experiences make…
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Strengthening Your Community: Continuing to Connect with Students and Families

Recently, as I was returning a rental car, the associate behind the desk asked me an all-too-familiar question: “How was everything?” Without very much thought, I smiled and provided my routine answer:…
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Valuing Cultural Norms That Differ From Your Own

Black History Month is an opportunity for us as educators not only to teach students about historic contributors to our American history, but also to help students experience and find value in…
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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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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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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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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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Clearing the Way for New Growth

Recently I was in a school conducting observations, and I noticed that all of the classrooms were picture-perfect. The decorations on the walls looked like an advertisement for a teacher store, and…
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Highlighting Academics with Belonging, Significance and Fun

“When we start the day with everyone together, face to face, welcoming each person, sharing news, listening to individual voices, and communicating as a caring group, we make several powerful statements. We…
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What Are Your Hopes?

As we prepare for our upcoming Teachers and Leadership Conferences, we’ve been thinking a lot about hope. Students’ hopes and dreams are, of course, an integral part of the beginning of the…
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Our Actions Speak Louder Than Our Words

In 1991, Ruth Charney, co-founder of Responsive Classroom, wrote a book that impacted K-8 educators all over the world, Teaching Children to Care. A reflection of her 20-year teaching career as well…
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It’s Time to Reconnect

Helping students build relationships with each other is a key to creating an optimal learning environment. Stronger bonds mean students will be less likely to be unkind, to exclude others, to call…
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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…
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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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