Preparing Students to Become Independent Learners using Routines & Procedures

It’s the start of a new year! Day one is either right around the corner or has just recently taken place. The beginning of the year is filled with so many fresh faces watching your every move and listening eagerly for the next direction. With all this newness, it can be easy for students to Read More »
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Relax, Reflect, Recalibrate

It’s the middle of the summer, another school year is successfully in the books, and preparations for the new school year are not quite in full swing. Now — while you’re hopefully…
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Setting a Positive Tone in Special Area Classrooms

What happens in the first few minutes of each class period can have a huge impact on students’ focus and productivity throughout the rest of the period. A calm and orderly opening…
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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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Noticing Positives

What’s going well in your classroom these days? At this time of year, especially, it’s common for teachers to focus more energy on challenges such as reteaching procedures that aren’t going smoothly,…
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Jake’s Social Stories

It's getting to be the time of year when teachers' efforts during the first weeks of school begin to pay off. With classroom routines becoming well-established, a blossoming sense of community, and…
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Extra Support with Transitions

Sarah was under the classroom work table again. "Sarah, now is the time for writing. You need to come out and start your work in your writing folder." I used my best…
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Time to Change the Routine?

Which parts of your school day just don't seem to work as well as you'd like? Now's a great time to do some problem-solving, imagine new possibilities, and plan to make changes…
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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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Asking the Right Questions

Three years ago, I noticed my first grade class having real difficulty putting away the materials for one of our workstations. Although these students usually followed the cleanup routines we'd developed and…
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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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Morning Routines

What happens in your classroom during arrival time? Those first minutes are so crucial for setting the tone and the pace for the day! The routines you put in place for arrival…
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Who Goes First?

I often hear teachers tell students, "Don't worry about who's first—we're all going to the same place (or "going to do the same thing"), so it doesn't matter who's first." This reasoning…
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Energizers! Using Quick Movement Breaks in the Classroom

During the long winter months, when children may experience less physical activity and movement, try sprinkling in some energizers—quick breaks that get children moving, breathing, and having fun together—throughout the day. These…
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Teacher Language & Transitions

In this video clip, third grade teacher Kerry Tuttlebee uses several different positive language strategies to keep students moving during a transition while maintaining control in the classroom. I am really inspired…
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Interactive Modeling: Putting away test materials

A step-by-step example of how it might look and sound for a teacher to use interactive modeling. 1. Name the goal. State it as a positive behavior. “At the end of a…
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Teaching Transitions

In many classrooms, it's during transition times that things get a little chaotic, possibly resulting in behavior problems that frustrate in the moment and spill over into the rest of the day.…
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Ending the Day Right

Question:Many teachers spend a lot of time creating good beginnings to the school day through carefully planned morning meetings. But what about the end of the day? In this newsletter's Teacher to…
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