Greeting Ideas for School Gatherings

In my newsletter article, "School Gatherings: Build Community, Boost Learning," I talk about the power of school gatherings. Over the years I've taught in a variety of settings—and no matter what the setting, when children have the opportunity to come together with other children from their grade or school, they benefit in many ways. They learn what it means to be a good audience member, they practice leadership and public speaking, and they develop a vision of themselves as members of a community.
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School Gatherings

During my thirty-nine-year teaching career, I’ve walked school hallways in five states and taught many students in public, private, and parochial settings. Over all those years, I’ve seen the power of group…
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Building Community One Child at a Time

Grafton Elementary School has 750 students in grades 3 to 5. With over 200 children at each grade level, it's easy for children to feel invisible, especially in spaces beyond the classroom,…
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Setting the Stage for Successful Assemblies

School assemblies, including those involving families, are an important part of building a strong school community. Whether it’s a science group presenting during the school day or a student band performing in…
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Traditions For a New School

As the founding faculty of Community Partnership School (CPS) prepared to welcome our first classes of pre-kindergartners, kindergartners, and first graders, we focused not only on the practical details of opening a…
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Starting with a Common Signal

"Where should we start?" is a common question for schools that want to implement the Responsive Classroom approach schoolwide. There's not one right answer, although it's definitely helpful to invest early on…
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School Spotlight: Hollin Meadows

“My teacher’s coming, my teacher’s coming,” squeals a gleeful six-year-old as he catches his first glimpse of his teacher as she steps out of her car and walks to his front door.…
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A New Way to Start

When Steve Bahn became principal at Ideal Elementary School, a K–6 school with 245 students, he didn't like how the school day began. "It felt chaotic and fragmented," he recalls. Students entered…
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All-School Messages

How do you create all-school messages that work well for your school community?Chris Dodge, principal of Fayston Elementary School in Fayston, Vermont, writes an all-school message every day. “It’s the first thing…
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Engaging Hearts & Minds

In this climate of high-stakes testing and fast-paced teaching, inviting student passion into the classroom can be difficult. Where do we find the time? How do we do it without compromising required…
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Talent Days Offer Every Child a Chance to Shine

Come to Talent Days at our school and you’ll see children sharing a kaleidoscope of skills and interests—doing magic, photography, cooking, writing, gymnastics; training pets; and singing or playing instruments. No matter…
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Crowning Day for Ks

Our school celebrates and welcomes our new kindergartners with a special all-school Morning Meeting affectionately known as “Crowning Day.” Planning for Crowning Day begins before the kindergartners start school. The fifth graders…
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Student-Led All-School Meetings Bring the School Community Together

In a school with over 500 students and more than eighty staff, it can be difficult to get to know one another. At K.T. Murphy Elementary School in Stamford, Connecticut, the staff…
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