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Responsive Classroom

Responsive Classroom is an educational approach and philosophy that focuses on creating a positive and engaging learning environment for students. It is primarily used in elementary and middle schools but can be adapted for other grade levels.
The Responsive Classroom approach was developed by the Northeast Foundation for Children, a non-profit organization based in the United States. It is rooted in the belief that academic success is closely tied to social-emotional learning and that students thrive when they feel a sense of belonging, significance, and competence in the classroom.
Student arriving at Center School
Building community and creating a positive learning environment at Center School is integral to our Responsive Classroom approach.  
Strategies used:
  • Morning Meetings
  • Interactive Modeling
  • Classroom Energizers
  • Space and Time
  • Use of a Buddy Room
Fundamental principles of the Responsive Classroom approach include:
Morning Meeting: This is a daily gathering where students and teachers unite to build community. It typically involves sharing, group activities, and a focus on social skills development.  The meeting can also serve as a time for teachers to find creative and concrete ways to make academics engaging, manage classrooms effectively, and create a positive classroom climate while building community.  
Engaging Academics: Lessons and activities are designed to be interactive, hands-on, and relevant to students' lives. The curriculum is connected to real-world experiences, and teachers use a variety of instructional strategies to engage students in their learning. Interactive modeling is an explicit practice for teaching procedures, routines, and academic and social skills.
Guided Discovery: Rather than providing all the answers, teachers guide students through a process of exploration and discovery. This approach fosters critical thinking skills and independence.
Academic Choice: Students are given opportunities to make choices in their learning, such as selecting topics for research projects or deciding how to present their work. This promotes student engagement and ownership of learning. Energizers are used as short breaks in whole-class lessons to allow students to interact with each other and to increase focus, motivation, knowledge, and memory.    
Collaborative Problem-Solving: Responsive Classroom emphasizes the importance of teaching students how to resolve conflicts and solve problems collaboratively. It promotes a positive and respectful classroom community. 
Rules and Logical Consequences: Instead of using a traditional system of rewards and punishments, Responsive Classroom encourages the establishment of clear expectations and logical consequences for behavior. The focus is on teaching students how their actions impact themselves and others. 
The Responsive Classroom approach aims to create a supportive learning environment that promotes academic achievement, social-emotional growth, and positive student-teacher relationships. 
"Watching my child become a confident learner is all I could have wished for." ~ K. Family.
"Finding the right school was a journey for our family. But our child is thriving at Center School!" ~ Y. Family. 
My child has ADHD and needs a different type of classroom environment in order to be successful and focused.
His favorite part of being at Center School is the wobble chairs and stand up desks." ~ T. Family.