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Starting the School Year with Responsive Classroom: 5 Back-to-School Books for Teachers and Educators

Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase, I may receive a small portion of the sale, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I absolutely love!

Responsive Classroom is a student-centered, social and emotional approach to teaching and discipline. Responsive Classroom is my go-to resource as a teacher for research- and evidence-based practices.

I’ve shared my love of Responsive Classroom on the blog before, mostly in regards to Morning Meeting.

Responsive Classroom has so many other resources beyond Morning Meeting to inspire educators to create safe, joyful, and engaging classrooms.

In today’s blog post, I’m sharing my 5 favorite back-to-school books from Responsive Classroom for teachers and educators.

1. The First Six Weeks of School

First Six Weeks

The First Six Weeks of School is a helpful guide to … you guessed it … the first six weeks of school!

“Day by day and week by week, The First Six Weeks of School shows you how to set students up for a year of engaged and productive learning by:

  • Using positive teacher language to establish high academic and behavioral expectations
  • Getting students excited about schoolwork by offering engaging academics
  • Teaching the classroom and academic routines that enable a collaborative learning community to thrive.”

I recommend this book for K-6 teachers who are looking to provide a groundwork of classroom community, relationship-building, and routines for the start of the school year.

2. The Joyful Classroom: Practical Ways to Engage and Challenge Elementary Students

Research shows that students learn more (and experience more joy) when academics connect to their lives and interests. I love having a student-centered classroom that also challenges students to stretch and grow.

The Joyful Classroom provides lesson plans, planning guides, clear directions, and practical, applicable strategies for creating active, student-centered, and meaningful lessons.

I recommend this book for elementary teachers looking to bring joyful, student-centered learning into their classrooms.

3. Yardsticks: Child and Adolescent Development Ages 4 – 14 by Chip Wood

Yardsticks is my go-to guide for understanding social and academic behavior through a developmental lens. Yardsticks provides educators with research-based strategies to meet students’ needs through age-by-age narratives and breakdowns.

Yardsticks provides insight into growth patterns by age, as well as developmental milestones as it relates to learning and behavior both at school and at home.

I recommend Yardsticks: Child and Adolescent Development Ages 4 – 14 for both teachers and administrators – and maybe even parents, too – who are looking to better understand students as individuals at different developmental milestones.

4. The Morning Meeting Book by Carol Davis and Roxann Kriete

Morning Meeting Book

Morning Meeting helps create a classroom culture of trust, positive behavior, and academic growth. I am a firm believer in the power of Morning Meeting to create a strong, joyful classroom community.

The Morning Meeting Book includes practical planning guides for holding Responsive Classroom Morning Meetings. This book not only includes examples and descriptions of Morning Meetings in real classrooms, but also provides hundreds of greeting, sharing, activity, and message ideas.

I recommend The Morning Meeting Book for K-8 teachers who are looking for a ready-to-apply guide to Morning Meeting.

5. Responsive Classroom for Music, Art, PE, and Other Special Areas

Responsive Classroom for Music, Art, PE, and Other Special Areas

If you are a special area teacher like me, this book is for you!

As a specials teacher, I love Responsive Classroom for Music, Art, PE, and Other Special Areas because it gives me concrete strategies to incorporate Responsive Classroom into my daily teaching.

This book provides examples of:

  • How to open and close class in calm, orderly ways
  • How to use positive teacher language to help students meet expectations and build classroom community
  • Set routines and expectations in a specials classroom
  • And so much more!

I recommend this book for K-6 specials teachers (music, art, PE, STEM, science, and library teachers) who are looking to incorporate the Responsive Classroom approach, even when you don’t see the same group of students everyday.

Thank you!

Thank you for reading this blog post about my 5 favorite back-to-school books for Responsive Classroom teachers and educators.

What other books would you add to this list? DM me on Instagram @edtechclass, send me an email, or leave a comment down below!


book list, podcast


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