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Responsive Classrooms

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The Responsive Classroom approach to teaching emphasizes social, emotional and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. The goal is to enable optimal student learning.

At Robert Rundle we believe that best teaching practices are based upon our knowledge of how children learn developmentally, culturally and individually and that we need to be aware that social and academic learning go hand in hand. We also believe that all children want to learn and can learn.

At the heart of the Responsive Classroom approach are ten classroom practices:

1. Morning Meeting

Gathering as a class each morning to greet each other and warm up for the day ahead.

2. Rule Creation

Helping; students create classroom rules that allow all class members to meet learning goals.

3. Interactive Modeling

Teaching children expected behaviours through a unique modeling technique.

4. Positive Teacher Language

Using words and tone in ways that promote children's active learning and self-discipline.

5. Logical Consequences

Responding to misbehaviour in a way that allows children to fix and learn from their mistakes while preserving their dignity.

6. Guided Discovery

Introducing classroom materials using a format that encourages independence, creativity and responsibility.

7. Academic Choice

Increasing student motivation and learning by allowing students teacher-structured choices in their work.

8. Classroom Organization

Setting up the physical room in ways that encourage students' independence, cooperation and productivity.

9. Working with Families

Involving them as partners and helping them understand the school's teaching approaches.

10. Collaborative Problem-Solving

Using conferencing, role-playing and other strategies to resolve problems with students.

We have adapted the seven guiding principles of the Responsive Classroom Approach by being aware that:

  • The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
  • How children learn is as important as what they learn: process and content go hand in hand.
  • The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
  • To be successful academically and socially, children need a set of social skills: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control.
  • Knowing the children we teach - individually, culturally and developmentally - is as important as knowing the content we teach.
  • Knowing the families of the children we teach and working with them as partners is essential to children's education.
  • How the adults at school work together is as important as their individual competence: lasting change begins with the adult community.

The approach is practiced both in the classroom and school-wide to deliberately help children build academic and social-emotional competencies.

Hillgrove School