Magic Minutes

As students arrive first thing in the morning, I’m stationed in my customary position at the door, ready to greet each one. I offer Chase our usual gentle double fist bump and a “Good morning, Chase. It’s so great to see you. How are you this morning?” She replies, “Uh . . . I’m okay,” clearly less bubbly than usual. I make mental notes on how I’ll follow up with her and possibly make small adjustments in our day to support her. Then Brendan bounces through the door with his  cheerful “Good morning, Mr.
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8:00 a.m.: I’m at the Classroom Door

Where are you when students arrive in the morning? At your teacher desk looking at paperwork from the office? At the projector setting up a video you'll be showing later that morning? 
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Twelve Days

That's how long it took for school to start feeling normal to me this year. Up to then I was in full-on back-to-school mode, and so were my students. Kids' shoes were…
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Dismissal Time

A few years ago, at dismissal time at Four Corners Elementary School in Greenfield, Massachusetts, 229 students in grades K through 5 would leave their classrooms simultaneously and head for the school's…
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Lining Up

"Mr. Anderson! Kelsey cut in line!" calls out Nicole."No I didn't! I was here a second ago. I just had to get my lunch ticket!" Kelsey retorts.The fourth grade girls glare at…
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Try This: Y-Charts for Revisiting Rules

Are you looking for a strategy to help your students navigate particularly tricky times of day, such as transitions, recess, lunch, or dismissal time? Try making a "looks like/sounds like" chart (often…
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Leadership That Inspires Change: Three Keys to Success

When Rita White stepped into her first principalship at an inner-city school in Memphis, Tennessee, she faced daunting challenges. The school of 980 students was on the state’s “needs improvement” list, students…
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Interactive Modeling: Walking in Line

A step-by-step example of how it might look and sound for a teacher of younger students to use Interactive Modeling. 1. Describe a positive behavior you will model “When we walk in…
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Hallway Greeters Make the Morning Transition Safe and Pleasant

School Spotlight: Dame School, Concord, New Hampshire
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Calm, Friendly Hallway Behavior Is Now Part of the School Culture

A whistle blows, signaling that the day is about to begin. The children scamper to organize themselves into grade-level lines. On an adult’s signal, one line moves toward the building, pausing at…
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