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Responsive Classroom


Be sure to see additional articles from the Responsive Classroom in our archive of columns written by Ruth Sidney Charney, co-founder of the Northeast Foundation for Children, which is home base for the Responsive Classroom appraoch. Click here to view that article archive.

Keeping in Touch With Families All Year Long
For many parents, a phone call from a teacher means trouble. But it doesnt have to be that way. We can regularly contact students' families when nothing's wrong, just to share what their child is doing well and what's going on in the classroom.

The Last Six Weeks of School
Though learning doesnt end just because school does, its good to help children bring a sense of closure to the year of classroom learning. This article highlights the benefits of doing so and offers suggestions that you can easily adapt for children of different ages.

What Teaching Matthew Taught Me
When I stopped seeking Matthew out to say a friendly hello in the morning, the students stopped too. When I snapped commands at him, they snapped too. I was treated to a painful refresher lesson about the strength of modeling.

Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions elicit fresh and sometimes even startling insights and ideas, opening minds and enabling teachers and students to build knowledge together. Discover how to form open-ended questions and how to use them to bolster learning.

School Spotlight
Newman Elementary School colleagues learn by observing one another.

Connecting Math Homework to the Community
Math problems rooted in neighborhood life ease the homework burden for students, parents, and teachers.

Including Wyatt
Third-grade teacher Nancy Kovacic explains how Responsive Classroom strategies helped one of her students, a boy with cerebral palsy, become a participating -- and respected -- member of the classroom community.

Welcoming Families of Different Cultures
One of the enduring truths about teaching is that to teach children well, we have to know them; and to really know them, we have to understand something of their family culture. And we have to remember that the goal in working with parents -- whatever their culture -- is to enable them to support their children's learning.

Revisiting Hopes, Goals, and Classroom Rules
Revisiting September's hopes and goals is an important midyear activity that will help students see the progress they've made so far, while setting the tone for productive learning during the remainder of the year.

Dame School
The atmosphere at New Hampshire's Dame School is slower and happier since hallway greeters have become part of the morning routine. The number of students running through the hallways has decreased, and the noise level has dropped considerably.

Apology of Action and Literacy
When feelings have been hurt, truly making amends requires taking steps to restore trust. That's true in real life and it's reflected in the best fiction. Five educators discuss their strategy for linking apology of action with literacy.

School-Wide Rules Creation
Learn about one school's efforts to improve school climate by developing a more consistent approach to discipline from classroom to classroom and in common school areas, such as the playground, lunchroom, and hallways.

Guest Teacher Handbook
Students create a Guest Teacher Handbook containing information they think a Guest Teacher should know.

Investing in Parents During the First Six Weeks of School
Investing in parents as well as children during the critical first dix weeks of school yields better school-home interactions all year, enriches classroom life, and enhances children's learning, say the authors of Parents & Teachers Working Together.

Academic Choice
Discover a powerful tool for motivating and maximizing students' learning in this adapted excerpt from Learning Through Academic Choice, a new Northeast Foundation for Children (NEFC) book by Paula Denton, EdD.