At American Indian Magnet School we practice Responsive Classroom. 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. The approach therefore consists of classroom and school-wide practices for deliberately helping children build academic and social-emotional competencies.
Students learn best when their classrooms are places where they feel safe, challenged, and joyful-places that free them to learn. At the heart of the Responsive Classroom approach are ten classroom practices that help teachers create such an environment:
- Morning Meeting · gathering as a whole class to greet one another, share news, and warm up for the day ahead
- Rule Creation · helping students create classroom rules that allow all class members to meet their learning goals
- Interactive Modeling · teaching children to notice and internalize expected behaviors through a specific modeling technique
- Positive Teacher Language · using words and tone to promote children's active learning 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
- Guided Discovery · introducing materials using a format that encourages creativity and responsibility
- Academic Choice · increasing student motivation by differentiating instruction and allowing students teacher-structured choices in their work
- Classroom Organization · setting up the physical room in ways that encourage independence, cooperation, and productivity
- Working with Families · hearing families' 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
After incorporating Responsive Classroom practices into classroom teaching, schools are often motivated to extend the principles of the approach to areas outside the classroom. They plan lunchroom and playground procedures, all-school events, and other aspects of whole-school life to ensure consistency in climate and expectations between the classroom and the larger school.