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 each other and then look at me, waiting for my response. I don’t

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The Trouble with Testing

 When I first began my teaching career in the early 1990’s, it felt like an exciting time to be in education. There was incredible momentum building for rich, multi-layered, developmentally appropriate teaching. The reading and writing workshop approach to literacy was based on the belief that children

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Setting the Stage for Successful Assemblies

Original Article: http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/article/setting-stage-successful-assemblies From the Whole School series by Mike Anderson Responsive Classroom Newsletter: August 2011 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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What 4th Graders Need

Do you work with 4th graders? If so, I’d love to know what you think of “The Leap into 4th Grade,” my article in the new issue of Educational Leadership. The theme of the issue is “The Transition Years,” and I wrote about strategies for establishing routines

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The Early and Elementary Years / The Leap into 4th Grade

Original Article: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr11/vol68/num07/The-Leap-into-4th-Grade.aspx Amazing energy and enthusiasm, increased anxiety, and tougher academic demands—all these make 4th grade a pivotal year. “Yes!” cries Danny, pumping his fist as he looks at the schedule for the day. “We have P.E. today! I love P.E.!” “Oh, come on!” groans Lisa as

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Classroom Displays: Keep the Focus on Student Work

Original Article: http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol6/613-anderson.aspx?utm_source=ascdexpress&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=express613 Displays are essential tools for supporting students’ learning and making the classroom feel welcoming and engaging. They’re also something that most teachers enjoy doing—and sometimes overdoing! It’s tempting to cover classroom walls with bright, beautiful—and teacher-chosen—charts, maps, posters, and photos. That’s what I did the

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The Power of Positive Routines

Original Article: http://inservice.ascd.org/the-power-of-positive-routines/ Think about the amount of time that you spend on autopilot each day. Do you drive to work along the same route? Do you tend to park in the same spot when you get there? Once you enter the building, I bet you follow a

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