In our tight-knit community, every child is acknowledged and celebrated daily and has the opportunity to form deep friendships that will last throughout his/her life. The small community breeds confidence as well as opportunities for leadership. Our students enter middle school understanding that they are agents of change while knowing who they are and the true values they hold.
Every day begins with a 30 minute morning meeting, one of the tenets of Responsive Classroom. During this time, students greet each other, do an activity together, share news, and read a morning message. Through this morning meeting, students’ sense of belonging, significance, and fun are targeted. Once these three feelings are ignited, students are prepared for a day of learning.
We recognize that a child’s social and emotional growth is just as significant as his/her academic growth. The Responsive Classroom approach is a widely used, research-backed approach to elementary education that increases academic achievement, decreases problem behaviors, improves social skills, and leads to more high-quality instruction. Through opportunities for autonomous choice-making, logical consequences, and positive teacher language, classrooms become a place where students are challenged to grow their academic, social, and emotional competencies daily.
Another essential aspect of Responsive Classroom practice is the use of logical consequences. Kids, like all people, make mistakes, and when they do, we want to treat them with respect and kindness. By using logical consequences, instead of disconnected punishments, our students have a greater sense of responsibility and community.
For more information on Responsive Classroom click here. https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/about/principles-practices/
Based on the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, students learn a tangible metaphor for doing kind deeds for others. Through individual student buckets and classroom buckets, students are able to both give recognition to others who fill their buckets and receive recognition for kind deeds they have done. Bucket filling provides a simple language that all students can use to speak and think about the ways they treat others.
Every child in Transitional Kindergarten through second grade is assigned a buddy from third through sixth-grade students. The buddy relationship blossoms throughout the year by joining together in Tefillah, celebrating holidays, and creating a special friendship. Their partnership builds leadership skills for older students while building the confidence of the younger students.