Responsive Classroom Connects with Community

The more we build community, the better we understand each other.

Photo of Linda Berger
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This isn't a commercial for Responsive Classroom, I promise. 

My classroom has been Responsive with a capital "R" for several years.  I deeply believe that empathy comes from a combination of connection and community.  Basically, the more you build community, the better students understand each other, the greater the empathy.  

A strong community collaborates in increasingly effective ways.   Responsive Classroom is a child-centered management approach that gives ownership for the classroom back to the students.  Through empathy interviews, they observe, tease out, and design rules and routines 'just right' for their unique class.

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Photo of Marjorie Rehlander
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What type of projects/topics do you do that you have found provoke the most understanding of others in your classroom?

Photo of Lisa Yokana
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Linda:
I love this! I don't know about responsive classroom, but I love the idea of students, no matter what age, making rules for their classroom. I did something like this with a particularly unruly class of mine last semester, and the quiet students thanked me afterwords. They felt like they'd had a chance to be heard. It would be really great to take this idea further. How might you make some guidelines for someone who wanted to try this for the first time? Where would they start? What kinds of questions might they ask their students? And how would it be different for different ages? I'd love to see where you could take this idea!
Let me know if you have questions
Lisa

Photo of Michael Schurr
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I am a huge fan of responsive classroom. Our new head of lower school has embraced the model and is making an integral part of our school. I wonder if you'd be interested in connecting with Video Pen Pals . Might be a way to take both of your ideas and mash them up. I could see students using video recordings as a way to let teachers in all parts of the school know more about themselves and their needs during the school day. Or could this be done as a whole class? Just a thought, half baked at best ;) Excited to see where this idea goes! Happy to help in any way I can!