Responsive Classroom® is a school-wide initiative. It stresses cooperation, responsibility, independence, caring and self-control. It blends social learning with high academic standards. Our mentor school is Sarasota Suncoast Academy and they have received training from the Northeast Foundation for Children to implement Responsive Classroom®.
We are concentrating on the first two components, Morning Meeting and Rules & Logical Consequences.
Morning Meeting is held daily in each classroom. It has four elements:
- Greeting: Children learn and use everyone’s name and practice welcoming each other.
- Sharing: This fulfills the need for belonging, helps ease the transition from home to school, and allows children to use oral language & practice listening skills.
- Group Activity: This builds class cohesion and spirit, increases classroom participation, and encourages cooperation.
- News and Announcements: These help to orient students to the class day. They are done so that the children can practice social and academic skills. These skills include oral and written expression, listening, relating meaningful experiences to print, and working cooperatively.
Hopes and Dreams
Within the first few days of school each year students share their hopes and dreams for learning. These are posted in the room and reviewed throughout the year.
Classroom Rules are made based on the students’ Hopes and Dreams. Classroom rules are modeled, discussed, and practiced regularly so that each students’ Hopes and Dreams can come true. Teachers and staff work to reinforce rules, remind children of the rules, and redirect them to the rules that they developed.
Palmetto Charter School C.A.R.E.S by:
COOPERATING with others
ASSERTING myself appropriately
Taking RESPONSBILITY for my actions
Showing EMAPTHY to those in our community and
Practicing SELF CONTROL
Treating others the way we want to be treated.
Keeping everyone safe and healthy.
Taking care of our school and classroom materials
Behaving like a respectful learner.
“Take a Break”
When teachers see that a child is having difficulty focusing, but has not yet broken any rules, that child is asked to move to a quiet, visible place in the room to “take a break” before emotions escalate to a point where rules are broken. The “take a break” spot may have something for the child to do quietly until they regain self-control.
If students choose to break a rule, they are given a consequence that is related to and relevant to their action.
There are three kinds of logical consequences:
“you break it, you fix it”
loss of privilege
“take a break”/ time out
In order to make any program a success, there needs to be a delegation of responsibilities to the individuals involved. The following are responsibilities that we see for ourselves, the students, and you:
Principles and practices of social development are modeled for students daily. These concepts are often introduced during the Morning Meeting segment of the day. Each class works together to brainstorm and develop rules they feel are important. These rules will ensure a safe and caring learning community. When the expectations are clear and understandable to all, the children are then responsible to adhere to the guidelines.
Children are expected to respect and care for themselves, each other and their school.
The goal of the Responsive Classroom® is to create a learning environment in which children thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.
This goal is accomplished through activities and learning appropriate to the child’s development stage.
Classroom teachers have developed the components of the program. Teachers and staff implement and model the Responsive Classroom® techniques. Adults use language to encourage and direct students to take responsibility for their behavior and learning.
Parent communication and involvement are essential. Parents are asked to think about what they feel is important for their child to work on this year. Through parent communication we find out about children’s interests, habits, and struggles.
As partners, the more we are able to identify a focus for a child, the better able we can help your child’s academic and social growth.
You can practice Responsive Classroom® at home too! Here are some examples of using encouraging language to remind, reinforce, and redirect your children to appropriate behavior.
Reinforce appropriate behavior with:
- What will you need so you are able to …
- I noticed that you remembered to …
- I heard you being…
- I see you are…
- Thank you for…
- Think about what you should …
Remind children of appropriate behavior with:
- Tell me what…
- Remind me what you need…
- See if you can figure out a way to…
- Show me what you need to do…
- Redirect children to appropriate behavior with:
- Find another place to…
- This is the time to…
- You can either…