Joyful Endings: The Last Few Weeks of School

Although we hope that our students’ learning won’t stop just because school does, it’s good to help them reach a sense of closure during the last few weeks of the year. Good endings leave students with feelings of pride in their growth, a strong sense of themselves as capable learners, and excitement about the learning communities they’ll build during the next school year. Here’s a handful of quick, fun, and easily do-able ways to achieve those good endings.
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Keeping Rules Front and Center During the Winter Slump

Recently I noticed my first graders having more trouble than usual sticking to our classroom rules. Several possible explanations came to mind as I began to reflect:“Am I not doing something I…
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Reflecting on Your Teaching Year

At the end of another school year, it's tempting to count the days left, wave goodbye to my class, pack up my room, and mentally check out for the summer. I've earned…
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Making Up for Lost Time

"Maybe we'll get to teach in February." That's been the joke at my school after snow, ice, and extreme cold, plus holidays and teacher workdays meant that last month we had only…
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Decluttering Starts Now!

How much of the stuff that’s cluttering your classroom could be gone before school starts up again? Teachers keep all kinds of stuff we never use. Why do we keep these things?…
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Summer Reading for Teachers

We asked four Responsive Classroom consultants,"What's one great resource for teachers as they look ahead to the next school year?"  Here are their responses:
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What’s Changed?

One of my favorite times of the school year is right after the winter holiday break. That first week back reminds me of the first days of school—many students come in wearing…
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Starting Over at Mid-Year

Last week on Facebook we asked, "What's your advice for someone who's taking over for another teacher in the middle of the year?" and you shared so many great ideas! Several people…
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Why Wait?

Oddly enough, I have been thinking a lot about New Year's resolutions lately. Specifically, I think about how I can't wait for January so I can start getting back into a healthful…
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Keep Learning Going During Holiday & Vacation Times

Suddenly, it seems like the class is falling apart. Classroom routines that were going smoothly just a few weeks ago now seem rough around the edges. More and more children are forgetting…
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Summer Reading: Access & Choice

I’d just read Tina Valentine’s post called “Will Your Students Keep Learning This Summer?” when I happened on another article on the same topic in the current International Reading Association newsletter. “Stopping…
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Reaffirming Community after a Vacation

Students are often a bit out of the routine of the classroom after a vacation, making this a good time to do activities that reaffirm the group’s sense of community. Plan post-vacation…
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