The Responsive Classroom is an approach to elementary teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. The goal is to enable optimal student learning. Created by classroom teachers and backed by evidence from independent research, the Responsive Classroom approach is based on the premise that children learn best when they have both academic and social-emotional skills.
At the heart of the Responsive Classroom approach are ten classroom practices:
Morning Meeting - gathering as a whole class each morning to greet one another, share news, and warm up for the day ahead.
Rule Creation - helping students create classroom rules to ensure an environment that allows all class members to meet their learning goals.
Interactive Modeling - teaching children to notice and internalize expected behaviors through a unique modeling technique.
Positive Teacher Language - using words and tone as a tool to promote children's active learning, sense of community, and self-discipline.
Logical Consequences - responding to misbehavior in a way that allows children to fix and learn from their mistakes while preserving their dignity. I employ the use of "breaks" to help children regain control and re-center themselves. Breaks are not punitive, but a natural tool to honor children's space and their development of self-control.
Guided Discovery - introducing classroom materials using a format that encourages independence, creativity, and responsibility.
Academic Choice - increasing student learning by allowing students teacher-structured choices in their work.
Classroom Organization - setting up the physical room in ways that encourage students' independence, cooperation, and productivity.
Working with Families - creating avenues for hearing parents' insights and helping them understand the school's teaching approaches.
Collaborative Problem Solving - using conferencing, role playing, and other strategies to resolve problems with students.
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