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Ruth Sidney Charney

Read a brief bio of Ruth Sidney Charney at the bottom of this page.

Responsive Classroom Strategies

The Last Six Weeks of School
It is as important to end, as to begin, the school year with intention and care. When we take the time to review and record the work of a school year, we see the power of hopes and dreams. We see the evidence of much learning and the value of our teaching.

Examples of Logical Consequences
The goal of logical consequences is to stop children's misbehavior and help them make more constructive choices. There is no one-size-fits-all consequence, although there are a few general categories that can help us consider effective implementation of logical consequences.

The Three R's of Logical Consequences
'Logical consequences' is a strategy that seeks to help children learn from their mistakes. A logical consequence has two steps: the first stops the misbehavior; the second recalls children to the rules and teaches alternative behaviors. To be effective, logical consequences must be respectful, relevant, and realistic.

Logical Consequences Teach Important Lessons
Logical consequences help teachers intervene when children break rules. It is a strategy that reinforces the limits of the classroom, the accountability of each individual, and the belief that we can take better care of ourselves, one another, and our environment.

Using Language to Encourage and Empower Children
In the Responsive Classroom approach, our goal is to use our language to encourage and empower children. Three simple structures support encouraging and empowering language. We call those structures "The Three R's": to reinforce, to remind, to redirect. A four-part series.

Modeling Procedures
Modeling classroom rules involves demonstrating the specific behaviors and language patterns of an expectation. Teachers act out the behaviors, showing what each looks and sounds like. Included: Eight procedures for modeling and practicing expectations.

The Importance of Modeling
We have generated our hopes and dreams. We have constructed our classroom rules, which are signed and beautifully and prominently displayed. We have shared our rules with parents. Now comes the interesting part, the part where we teach the rules.

From Our Hopes and Dreams: Come the Rules
"The quest for rules helps us achieve our hopes. 'If we are going to be able to learn math, what rules do we need?' 'If we are going to be able to make friends, what rules do we need?' 'The rules help the good things happen."

Hopes and Dreams: A Strategy to Begin the Year
"In classrooms using the Responsive Classrooms approach, teachers begin their year generating 'Hopes and Dreams.' The process of developing hopes and dreams each year is a process of reviving hope -- and hope is one of our most critical community resources. How do we teach or learn without it?"


Meet Ruth Sidney Charney

Ruth Sidney Charney is a highly-respected education consultant and author. She is co-author of "The Development of Responsibility in Early Adolescence -- Approaches to Social and Emotional Learning in the Middle School" in Educating Minds and Hearts, Jonathan Cohen, editor (Teachers College Press. New York, NY 1999). Her groundbreaking book, Teaching Children to Care -- Classroom Management for Ethical and Academic Growth, K-8 (NEFC. Greenfield, Massachusetts 1991, 2002) has sold more than 100,000 copies. She also is author of Habits of Goodness (NEFC. Greenfield, Massachusetts 1997), and numerous other articles and chapters.

Charney is co-developer of Northeast Foundation for Children. A teacher for 35 years, she worked in public schools in New York City and Massachusetts before beginning her work with the NEFC. Her formal training includes master's degrees from Bank Street College of Education and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Charney currently divides her time between writing and providing professional development seminars and school consultation in the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and learning.