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St. Paul


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Responsive Classroom

Responsive classroom approach of teaching is important for the social, emotional, and academic growth for all of our scholars.

The Seven Guiding Principles

  1. The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
  2. How children learn is as important as what they learn. (School Enrichment Model)
  3. The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
  4. Knowing the children we teach - individually, culturally, and developmentally - is as important as knowing the content we teach.
  5. Knowing the families of the children we teach and working with them as a partner is essential to children’s education.
  6. How the adults at school work together is as important as individual competence: lasting change begins with the adult community. (ASPIRE)

Classroom Practices

Morning Meeting - Opportunity for community building every morning. Greeting, Sharing, Activity and news and announcements begin each day.  Use this time to practice and learn social and academic skills where every scholar is included, seen and heard.  Remember to start everyday on a positive note.

Rule Creation and Logical Consequences -  Developing Hopes and Dreams is the foundation of strong and effective principles in a classroom. Initiate a discussion on what scholars need to be successful and discuss the different roles within the learning community. Come to a clear consensus on classroom expectations and be ready to revisit them throughout the year.  Make sure they are phrased in a positive language.  When rules are broken scholars will be given logical consequences for their behavior that are respectful, relevant and realistic for an opportunity to fix it. Be consistent and fair!

Three types of Logical Consequences are Take a Break, Loss Privilege, and You Break It, How are You Going to Fix it?

          Take a Break - There are two types, scholar directed and teacher directed.  

Scholar directed is when the teacher directs the scholar to take a break and the scholar is able to get back on track without any more guidance.  Teacher directed is when the scholar comes back from the first break continuing to have problems.  The scholar will remain in take a break until the teacher has a moment to connect with the scholar and help problem solve and have a social conference.

           Loss of Privilege - This occurs when a scholar cannot demonstrate how to use

something appropriately. The scholar can always gain this privilege back when they show they will follow directions.

          You break it, You Fix it - This can be used for a wide range of situations from

hurting someones feelings or damaging property.  The premise is to fix what the student has broken.

Buddy Room - When a scholar is unable to process in the classroom, it may be necessary to go to another classroom for buddy room. Buddy rooms should be designated with another teacher.  They need a pass for a buddy room with a time sent. The buddy room should be a place to process the action and the scholar should be welcomed when they return to their classroom teacher.  The classroom teacher is responsible for processing with the scholar.

Working with Families - Connect with families early in the year to gain insights and begin to develop a strong school - home connection.  Positive phone calls home, email, and Positive notes home are three ways to develop this relationship.  ASPIRING our parents and home visits are two additional ways to connect.

Social Conferencing or Collaborative Problem Solving - This is an important problem solving step with the scholars.  Important steps involve noticing the problem, naming the situation (not people involved), understanding, creating alternatives, practice and an agreement between the scholar and the teacher.  See SOLUTION KIT (Prek-2) and H.E.L.P.S (3-5).