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Responsive Classroom Information Session for Specialists

A brief overview of Responsive Classroom

Molly Foster

on 5 November 2013

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Transcript of Responsive Classroom Information Session for Specialists

Responsive Classroom
An approach to building a joyful school community
What is Responsive Classroom?
(a review)
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 schoolwide practices for deliberately helping children build academic and social-emotional competencies.
Teacher specialists will:
become familiar with the Guiding principles of Responsive Classroom
Learn about how RC can be used in specials classes
explore the power of language, setting expectations, non-verbal communication, and logical consequences
Ask questions about RC
A teacher's language has a powerful affect on children. In the Responsive Classroom approach, teachers choose words thoughtfully, recognizing that skillful teacher language can help children develop self-control, build a sense of community, and gain academic skills and knowlegde.
Reinforcing language
Is specific
Supports true self-esteem
Supports intrinsic motivation
Promotes personal responsibility
Reminding language
Reminds students of what is expected of them
Common pitfalls of reminding language
sarcasm or teasing
thanking or praising children
not watching or follow-through
focusing on negative behaviors
lecturing, judging, and rhetorical questions
please and thank you
for me
sir, miss and ma'am
Redirecting language
is direct and specific
names the desired behavior
is brief
focuses on the child's action or behavior rather than generalizing about the child's whole person
sets firm limits(if necessary, action follows words)
makes a statement instead of asking a question
Be direct, don't use praise to manipulate
Instead of "I see Josh has finished cleaning up his table," use the established signal to get everyone's attention, then say "Time to finish cleaning up and get in line. One minute to go."
"I see four people ready...I see half of us ready...I see everyone ready" is better than "I see Josh is ready." If you truly want to acknowledge Josh for being so efficient and thorough, make your comment to him at another time, directly and privately. (For example, "Josh, I noticed you cleaned up quickly and thoroughly after art today."
Keep it simple and clear
Say what you mean and say it concisely.
If you know that students understand the rules, a single phrase or directive is all that's needed as a reminder.
Pay attention to the small things
At the first hint that the noise level is beginning to rise, ring the bell or give the quiet signal and remind students to use softer voices.
When you notice a group about to get off task, step in and say "Remind us what you're supposed to be doing right now."
Be firm when needed
Too often we confuse being firm with being mean. And in an effort to avoid being mean, we shy away from being firm. As a result, students grow uncertain about limits, and we lose our authority to establish them.
If you mean no, then say no.
It's important to not ask a question when you mean to give a command. The tone of voice should be direct and firm, not harsh or sarcastic. Let students know exactly what you expect from them.
Expect the best
If we expect that children will be respectful and responsible, they will strive to be.
Pay attention to tone, volume, and body language
Pay attention to voice tone, pitch, volume.
We often need to use our eyes as silent reminders to children to stay on track.
But it's important to be aware how powerful these signals can be. There is often a fine line between the reminding or redirecting look and the "dirty" look.
Young children focus on the words that teachers; older children tend to focus more adults' nonverbal behaviors in their attempts to understand.
Be sure that what you say and how you say it send the same message.
Nonverbal behavior tips
Use eye contact proactively
Ask yourself:
Model the nonverbal signals that your lead teacher has taught the students, be consistent in your use of those signals.
Facial expressions
Observing student's faces can be a step towards assessing engagement and understanding.
Likewise, our facial expressions might show impatience, disapproval, and irritation, all of which can confuse and discourage students, particularly since we're often not aware of what and how much our faces show.
If you're concerned about what your facial expressions communicate, you might ask a colleague to observe you and give you feedback.
Logical consequences
time out
you break it, you fix it
loss of privileges
What do you notice about Suzi's
eye contact, body language, questions?
What were the other adults in the room doing during this transition?
Why did she ask the students to tell her more?
How does this help to create a sense of community?
Is Suzi giving value or opinions to the student's work?
What are some question stems she is using?
Why do you think Kerri is speaking with these two students privately?
What are some language stems she is using to direct students during this transition?
What do you notice about Kerri's tone of voice?
How did Rhonda have students check in with her?
What are some other ways you could have students give you a nonverbal check in?
Model the desired behavior.
Have students practice the behavior.
Give feedback-"I noticed..."
Try it...stop if undesired behavior is shown and immediately address the behavior in a calm, firm way. Talk to the students involved and have them model for you and show you what you are expecting.
Give feedback again-"I noticed..."
What do you notice about this graph?
What do you think may be the difference between time out and punishment?
Guiding Principles

Seven principles, informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of practicing classroom teachers, guide the Responsive Classroom approach:

* 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.
Asking a student why they were doing something is not direct and specific to what you want them to do.
For example, instead of "Mary, why were you stepping on Max's coat?" say "What's happening here?" in a calm tone of voice, then listen to both sides and model what you expect from Mary, then have Max practice using his words. Even if they are fifth graders.
Thank you!
Share out questions and concerns

RC Youtube channel
Books and videos from ARC to check out
Check with your media specialists

RC Resources
Full transcript