Teaching Children to Care

Teaching Children to Care book cover

Classroom Management for Ethical and Academic Growth, K-8

by Ruth Sidney Charney
For Elementary • K-8

Preface by Nel Noddings

Ruth Charney gives teachers help on things that really matter. She wants children to learn how to care for themselves, their fellow students, their environment, and their work. Her book is loaded with practical wisdom. Using Charney's positive approach to classroom management will make the whole school day go better.
     –Nel Noddings, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University, and author of Caring

First edition sold over 70,000 copies.
Named Top-Notch Book
by New Teacher Magazine

This definitive work about classroom management will show teachers how to turn their vision of respectful, friendly, academically rigorous classrooms into reality.

The revised edition includes:

  • Setting priorities and expectations with children
  • Establishing classroom routines
  • Generating rules with students and using logical consequences
  • Working with families and staff to support the rules
  • Planning and conducting social conferences and class meetings
  • Avoiding power struggles
  • Choosing effective teacher language and tone
  • Helping children with challenging behavior problems

"Teaching Children to Care offers educators a practical guide to one of the most effective social and emotional learning programs I know of. The Responsive Classroom approach creates an ideal environment for learning-a pioneering program every teacher should know about."
     –Daniel Goleman, Author of Emotional Intelligence

Table of Contents

Preface and Forward
Section I: Building a Learning Community
Chapter 1: Intentions
Chapter 2: I See You, I See Everything
Chapter 3: Making the Rules with Children
Chapter 4: Teaching the Rules
Chapter 5: A Student's Individual Goals
Section II: Making the Community Work
Chapter 6: Using Logical Consequences
Chapter 7: Time-Out
Chapter 8: The Five Percent
Chapter 9: Working Together to Support the Rules
Section III: The Voices of Teaching
Chapter 10: Empowering Language
Chapter 11: Stress the Deed, Not the Doer
Chapter 12: The Voices of Authority
Section IV: Further Strategies for Difficult Classroom Behaviors
Chapter 13: Problem-Solving Class Meetings
Chapter 14: Using Social Conferences
Chapter 15: Individual Contracts
Section V: Clear Positives
Chapter 16: Teaching by Clear Positives
Chapter 17: Clear Positives in Action
Conclusion: Authentic Teaching
Appendix A: Horse
Appendix B: A Conflict Resolution Protocol for Elementary Classrooms
Appendix C: Apology of Action: Teaching Children to Make Amends
Appendix D: Steps to Self-Control
Appendix E: Common Behavior Challenges by Age

Teacher's Perspective
Most Responsive Classroom presenters would choose this book as their #1 read! This book is a collection of practical examples, language ideas, and structures for helping students problem-solve and learn from mistakes. It is most useful in applying reactive strategies for classroom teachers who have worked on creating a positive social environment in their classroom. Ruth clearly outlines such strategies to help deal with behaviors that are not improving with consistent use of logical consequences. There are specific examples of teacher language used to help teachers talk with their students and empower them to fix their mistakes. Some of the reactive strategies include: problem-solving meeting, social conferencing, role-play, and job contracts. This book is a must have to see the Responsive Classroom's philosophy come full circle.
    –Carolyn Rottman

Northeast Foundation for Children, 2002, 448 pages
ISBN: 1-892989-08-5