Achievement for All- Ruby Payne

I will start keeping tabs on what I am reading- I seem to misplace too many good ideas.  I am also going to keep a page where these will also be posted.




Important Development in the middle grades:

  1. Physical Development: puberty and body image
  2. Cognitive/Intellectual development: changes in their brain
  3. Moral Development: moral compass
  4. Psychological Development: identity and differentiation from adults
  5. Social/Emotional Development: safety and belonging

These tend to be what is at the core for any issue a middle school student faces.  Being aware of these and talking with students so they can identify them are important steps in building a reflective, stable, independent young adult.

Three interlocking factors that impact cognitive framework of students:


These are things that influence your student, and are out of your control.  They are a student’s home conditions, what they have access to at home, and relationships with people beyond the classroom.  Our students come to us with prior experiences established, being able to understand what they are, which ones you can overcome, and others you can help with are crucial to helping your student succeed.

Resources that Build Stability:


These are characteristic that will help us determine where our students are, and what resources they have available to them.  It will allow us to provide interventions to assist with developing resources for our students.

“That which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”

  • Ability to survive
  • Clear understanding of concrete reality
  • Ability to defend oneself
  • Strong sense of connection to others also in survival mode
  • Ability to problem-solve and “make due”
  • 6th sense about adults who may not be safe
  • Capacity to go all day without food
  • Informal, casual approach to living
  • Ability to entertain and be entertained
  • Capacity for enjoying the basics of life

 All of our students will come to us with some of these traits.  Keep them in mind, know what reactions are prompted from Strengths built from previous experiences.  Use these strengths to make connections to your student, which will in turn create trusting relationships.  This will allow your students to learn.

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