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 as the stories and observations of colleagues, her practical and empathetic guidance has inspired teachers for decades and in turn has impacted the Read More »
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Starting the Year Off with Joy

Each of these practices promotes active teaching over direct teaching: Rather than education being a one-way street in which a teacher lectures, learning becomes a collaboration between teacher and students. And if…
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Peanut Butter, Grape Jelly

As seen in The First Six Weeks of School, 2nd Edition! Students get a kick out of this song.
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Breathe Life into Learning with Engaging Academics

Building the characteristics of engaging academics into lessons helps students do rigorous learning in a dynamic way. Students not only engage with and enjoy their learning, but are more willing to tackle…
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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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Whose Classroom Is It?

One way the Responsive Classroom approach has changed my teaching is that I have learned to think of the classroom as a space that belongs to all of us, rather than as…
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Envisioning Your Classroom

I started setting up my classroom a few days ago, and of course I was thinking about the first days of school, but what really guided my decisions was a vision of…
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Are You Having Fun?

One afternoon in late October, my third grade class laughed together for the first time this year. It happened as we were getting ready to transition from science to math. "Okay," I…
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Classroom Display Ideas

Last spring, I encouraged you to take a good, hard look at your classroom displays and think about how, in the future, you might increase the emphasis on displaying student work and…
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Bringing the School Year to a Strong Finish

The end of the school year is an emotional time. By this time, many students (and teachers!) are eager for summer vacation, yet many children have mixed feelings about leaving the comforting…
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Seeing It All Come Together

While reading Mike Anderson’s series of posts about strategies for keeping students active and engaged, I kept thinking about a second grade classroom I visited recently. I was lucky enough to watch…
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Our Passion for Teaching

I was so moved by your responses to my last post about the importance of bringing joy to classrooms! The images of college students being read to, classes dancing at “boogie breaks,”…
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The Importance of Joy

I’ve been thinking recently yet again about how important joy is to classroom life and learning. My ten-year-old niece got me started down this path when she returned from visiting a school…
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