I recently discovered a new approach to teaching that is used extensively by the charter school that I now teach in. The approach is called The Responsive Classroom which was formed by the Northeast Foundation for Children. The Responsive Classroom technique is based on seven core beliefs that are as follows:
- The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
- How children learn is important as what children learn.
- The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
- There is a set of social skills that children need in order to be successful academically and socially.
- Knowing the children we teach is as important as knowing the content we teach.
- Knowing the parents of the children we teach is as important as knowing the children.
- Teachers and administrators must model the social and academic skills which they wish to teach their students.
One of the many components of The Responsive Classrom Technique is the Morning Meeting. They suggest a certain predictable format which can be modified to fit each classroom and teacher. The components of a Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting are:
- Group Activity
- News and Announcements
The information from this summary was taken from:
- Kriete, Roxann. The First Six Weeks of School. Greenfield, Mass.: Northeast Foundation for Children, 2000.
Below you will find some of my own ideas and adaptations for the Morning Meeting.
Children will greet a friend and ask which kind of sensory greeting they would prefer. Some choices are listed below:
- high five
- pat on the back
Toss the Ball
Toss a ball across the circle to a student. Greet the student by saying "Hello, (name)".
Pair students with a partner (a person they are sitting next to). Give instructions for them to greet their neighbor and find out one thing about them. Allow students 2-3 minutes (or until you see that they are finishing) to chat. Bring students back to center and allow each student to introduce their new friend. I have my students use a format similar to: "This is my friend ______. I learned that (name) _____.".
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