Helping Students Give Effective Compliments

Telling students what they’re doing right is one of the most powerful tools we have for helping them solidify and build on their positive behaviors and skills—and teachers aren’t the only ones who can provide this type of support. Students can also encourage each other through the effective use of giving compliments.
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The Building Blocks of Collaboration: Partner and Small-Group Chats (Grades 5–6)

Children learn a great deal, academically and socially, by collaborating—working together toward common goals. A good way to help students begin developing collaboration skills is by teaching them how to exchange ideas,…
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Adapting Morning Meeting Greeting for ELL Students

Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting is a powerful way to create a classroom climate of respectful, engaged learning and the greeting component sets the tone by helping all students feel noticed and appreciated…
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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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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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Waiting to Speak

Recently, more than a handful of my first graders were struggling with waiting to ask questions or make comments during direct instruction. I responded by using tried and true teacher practices: giving…
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A Principal’s Job Is Also to Teach

Early in my career as a school leader, I learned a great lesson: that as a principal, I needed to help children learn the skills that would enable the behavior their teachers…
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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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Teaching Children to Disagree

Not long ago I watched an animated group of second graders happily share their opinions about a children's picture book. They were responding to their teacher's open-ended question about what might have…
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Partner Sharing in Morning Meeting

If you visited my classroom during Morning Meeting these days, you’d probably see first graders working with partners and using the conversation skills we’ve been working on all year. We’re now doing…
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Partner Greetings in Morning Meeting

By now my first grade students are pretty good at chatting with a partner. They know how to pair up quickly and how to decide who will go first. They sit knee-to-knee…
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Teaching Children How to Converse

These days, curriculum often recommends using "partner chats," "turn-and-talk," and other one-on-one conversation strategies to help students reflect on and deepen their learning. Although it may seem like a simple thing, chatting…
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First, Partner Skills

This year didn't start off quite as I'd planned. I'd hoped to start teaching conversation skills right at the beginning of school, but once I met my new class, I decided that…
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Coaching Children in Handling Everyday Conflicts

"Teacher, he won't play with me." "Teacher, she cut in line." "Teacher, he took my book."Such classroom conflicts are familiar in elementary school life. For years, resolving such conflicts for children filled…
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How do you manage to have private conversations with students?

A: With kindergartners, I do a lot of quick check-ins during class time, but when a longer conversation is needed, I use the quiet corner in our classroom. It's a small space…
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The Art of Commenting

On a late spring morning, Mr. Marino’s fourth graders are gathered quietly on their Morning Meeting rug, all eyes on Joe, whose turn it is to share.“I played a basketball game on…
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Power in Speech

One of the most valuable things we can teach students is how to assert themselves in respectful ways. In spontaneous and planned moments throughout the day, teachers can work with students to…
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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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A Conflict Resolution Protocol for Elementary Classrooms

April 2000A basic belief underlying The Responsive Classroom approach to teaching is that how children learn to treat one another is as important as what they learn in reading, writing, and arithmetic.…
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