Welcome to Centre School’s link to Responsive Classroom®! The Responsive Classroom® approach is a collection of best practices and strategies that blend high academic expectations with social learning. Centre School began its journey with RC training in the fall of 2001. Dedicated teachers and support staff volunteered their time on Saturdays, after school and during the past seven summers to learn about the RC approach. Through federal grant monies, the training, books and resources supporting the teachings of RC have been provided to staff. A professional library of resources is also maintained at Centre School.
The Northeast Foundation for Children (NEFC) located in Turners Falls, Massachusetts is the headquarters for Responsive Classroom®. NEFC offers training to schools throughout the country in the six components of RC.
- Morning Meeting – A daily routine to build community, practice social skills, and bridge the day from home to school
- Rules and Logical Consequences – A consistent way to manage behaviors respectfully and responsibly that fosters self-control
- Guided Discovery – A format to introduce materials, routines and appropriate learning behaviors
- Academic Choice – A structure to work with our prescribed curricula with flexible groupings and attention to learning styles
- Classroom Organization – Strategies to optimize work areas, independence, and transition times
- Parent Communication – Methods to build partnerships between home and school
Northeast Foundation for Children has trained many of our Centre School staff in the first two components of Responsive Classroom. Many teachers have received more in depth training beyond the first two components. As Centre's school counselor, I have been been certified as a RC Level I and Level II consultant teacher for the Hampton School District. Most recently, I facilitated an after school book study for teachers on positive approaches to common classroom behavior issues.
Centre teachers strive to use a common language to help children learn to manage their behavior and increase productivity. The language is meant to reinforce children’s actions, remind them of their responsibilities, or redirect them when they veer off track. Look at the language reminders that are posted around Centre School. The following key phrases are meant to share with you the same language to try at home as our teachers use at school.
To reinforce appropriate behaviors:
- I see that you are remembering to get ready for bed on your own…..
- I noticed that you remembered to pack your school things for tomorrow……
- I heard you give your brother extra turns on the trampoline.
- I see you are using polite table manners.
To remind what the expectation is for behavior:
- Tell me what you need to do next…..
- Remind me what we decided about extra treats after dinner.
- Our rules about playtime are …
- Can you tell me what we decided on?.....
- Remind me what you need to do now……
- Show me that you are ready.
To redirect behaviors that need to be corrected:
- Right now, I need you to listen to directions…
- This is time to get ready for bed…
- Find a different place to finish that game….
- Dinner time means we eat together….
We hope you will use some of this language at home and that it will bring the positive results we have been seeing at Centre over the past few years. To learn more about the Responsive Classroom approach, visit their website, www.responsiveclassroom.org.