Our Hopes and Dreams for School

Inviting students to name learning goals (hopes and dreams) right away shows them that school is a safe place, that they’re important members of the classroom, and that they can look forward to an engaging, challenging, and fun year of learning.
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Looking Ahead to Next Year: The First Day of School

As the school year draws to a close, you’re probably thinking about ways to keep students engaged in their learning during the last weeks of school. But now is also a good…
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The First 12 Weeks of PE

Starting on the first day of school, students wait excitedly at the door for PE to begin. And as soon as they see me, they always pepper me with questions: "What are we…
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The First Days of School

What can you do, this school year, to bullyproof your classroom? Establishing a positive classroom climate where kindness prevails and everybody is included is a vital first step.
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Back to School with Children’s Books

Reading aloud can be a powerful way to build community and shared understanding at the beginning of the school year. My classes and I used to laugh and talk all year about…
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A New Teacher’s First Day

I was so nervous as I prepared for my first year of teaching! I worried that the kids wouldn't listen, their parents would think I was too young to teach, and the…
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First Day Memories

I never loved the first day of school. My teaching depended so much upon knowing my students, and until I got to know them, I never felt entirely comfortable.Having said that, I do…
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On the First Day, Less Is More

When I started teaching, I always planned way too much for the first days of school. It took me a while to learn to make the first day of school a comfortable,…
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Clean Slates

This summer I spent a week working with a group of teachers in Denver who are embarking on an amazing adventure together.  They had come from all over the country to teach…
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Read-Alouds for the First Day of School

The other day Jen Audley sent me a link to a blog entry about the first day of school that really got me thinking about the children who come to our classes…
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Books for Back to School: Falling Down the Page

I love visiting bookstores, especially children’s bookstores, when I’m traveling. This summer, while I was on the road for work, I discovered lots of new books. (Truth be told, I also spent…
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Here’s an Idea! Human Treasure Hunt

This video is excerpted from The First Day of School in a Responsive Classroom, which was filmed on the actual first day of school in Caltha Crowe’s third grade classroom in 2007.…
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New Teacher’s Toolkit: First Days

From the day school starts, you'll probably have about a three day grace period when most children are going to be on their best behavior. After that they'll  start to relax, and…
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Building a Sense of Ownership

Question: In the book The First Six Weeks of School, co-authors Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete emphasize the importance of helping students feel a sense of comfort and ownership in the classroom…
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