Q & A with Matt Miller

Last week, when the national news media picked up a story about a 2nd grader's idea for making recess work better at his school, Roundtown Elementary principal Matthew Miller contacted us right away. "I want you all to share in the excitement and celebrate this," he said, "because the idea of the Buddy Bench has its roots in Responsive Classroom and the positive environment we've created at Roundtown. We would not be where we are without you!"
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The Invisible Boy

Do you have a child in your class who is invisible to the other children? I'm thinking about the child who is forgotten when children choose work partners, who plays alone at…
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“We All Get Angry Sometimes”

Just as we teachers help children recognize letters and patterns, manage their belongings, and control their movements, we must also help them identify and manage their emotions. Such self-regulation preserves social relationships…
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Each Kindness

A new girl joins Chloe's class. Maya's clothes are old and ragged. Despite the fact that there's snow on the ground, Maya's shoes look like they're meant for spring. The teacher seats…
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Extraordinary Acts

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the amazing things teachers do, often almost without thinking. While working on my latest project, a book about behavior challenges, I've been interviewing some experienced…
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Habits of the Heart

I was fortunate to hear Parker Palmer speak last week in a program sponsored by Courage in Schools (an initiative of Courage & Renewal Northeast) at Wellesley College. There were 120 educators…
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Building Empathy to Prevent Bullying

My fifth grade class was about to welcome a new student—I'll call him Mark—who had a number of medical challenges. For instance, he had a feeding tube, and he suffered from uncontrollable…
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Welcoming Hannah

One November morning, I learned that Hannah, a transfer student, would join my third grade class the very next day. Feeling fortunate to have a little notice, I shared the news with…
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Respect & Responsive Classroom

This past summer at the Responsive Classroom Schools Conference, Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s keynote speech on the dimensions of respect gave me a new lens with which to reflect on Responsive Classroom and…
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A Sustaining Routine

Megan’s Great Uncle John was dying of cancer, and she needed to share this distressing experience with her fourth grade classmates. During a Morning Meeting Sharing in October, Megan explained that her…
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Helping Others

“Helping others in need” is a theme I like to use for focusing classroom activities with upper-grade students. The recent Asian tsunami disaster offered a good opportunity for an activity. It connected…
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Community Service Learning

Question:I’ve heard a lot about community service learning (CSL) and love the idea of combining service to the community with academic learning. I’d like to get a project going in my classroom,…
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