The Responsive Classroom approach consists of a set of practices and strategies that build academic and social-emotional competencies. Contact Login. Core Belief In order to be successful in and out of school, students need to learn a set of social and emotional competencies—cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control—and a set of academic competencies—academic mindset, perseverance, learning strategies, and academic behaviors.
Guiding Principles The Responsive Classroom approach is informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of exemplary classroom teachers.
Six principles guide this approach: Teaching social and emotional skills is as important as teaching academic content. How we teach is as important as what we teach. Great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction. Partnering with families—knowing them and valuing their contributions—is as important as knowing the children we teach. Classroom Practices and Strategies Responsive Classroom is an approach to teaching based on the belief that integrating academic and social-emotional skills creates an environment where students can do their best learning.
Principles & Practices
Teacher Language —The intentional use of language to enable students to engage in their learning and develop the academic, social, and emotional skills they need to be successful in and out of school. Logical Consequences —A non-punitive response to misbehavior that allows teachers to set clear limits and students to fix and learn from their mistakes while maintaining their dignity. Interactive Learning Structures —Purposeful activities that give students opportunities to engage with content in active hands-on and interactive social ways.
Establishing Rules —Teacher and students work together to name individual goals for the year and establish rules that will help everyone reach those goals. Here are some best practices for teaching high school mathematics that are applicable to a wide variety of pedagogical approaches. Attend to what your students can do and how they describe what they know consistently and persistently during the year. Keep coming back to prior topics to see if students' ideas have changed since students' performance in any single day does not indicate they have learned , learning is the accumulation of long-term change in what students know and can do.
Use this information to inform your teaching and to structure feedback opportunities for students.
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The primary goal of formative assessment is that you and your students are able to use information provided about what they know and can do to increase the likelihood that your students learn the intended content and skills of your course Wiliam, Teach to big ideas rather than disconnected lessons. A big idea takes more than a day to each, and is a deliberate collection of smaller ideas that fit within a lesson. This allows students to have more interconnected schema and requires students to retrieve information from earlier in the year while making connections between topics.
We have some examples of big ideas for high school math in our open-source curriculum.
Note that it is possible to attend to the details of a calculation that novices find hard to follow, while maintaining a focus on the larger mathematical principles at play. Focus on the processes and connections between different processes rather than just finding the answer. The answer is important, but the processes that lead to answers are far more important to learn. The connections between processes and between different representations of that process are where the core mathematical ideas you want your children to learn reside. This means that while teaching processes, you should use these processes to teach students mathematical principles they can apply to solve problems, not how to solve problem types.
Use instructional routines to support all of your students in having access to the mathematics. Instructional routines shift the cognitive load for students as they focus less on what their role is and what they are supposed to next, since these tasks are delegated to long-term memory, and are therefore more able to focus on learning mathematics Kelemanik, Lucenta, Creighton, Instructional routines also support teacher learning by allowing teachers to "keep some parts of their teaching fixed while working on other areas" Lampert, Graziani, Another benefit of instructional routines is that they embed retrieval practice opportunities and formative assessment within the routine itself.
When you orchestrate full group discussions, keep a record of the conversation. Trying to follow a conversation where the information contained in the discussion is all new to you is incredibly difficult. Many students will get lost and then disengage from the discussion, leading to less learning. Be selective and cautious in your use of technology for teaching.
Just because a technology is able to demonstrate a mathematical principle for you does not mean your students will have the same experience since you already know the mathematical idea being demonstrated and your students do not. Often I find that students learn how to use a tool to solve mathematical problems but are no more capable at solving problems without using the tool.
- The Battles (sa fairy tale of the black panthers).
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- My TeachHUB.com.
- Anno Frankenstein (Pax Britannia Book 7).
No mathematical idea when learned should be trapped in the use of a particular technology, since as soon as that technology becomes obsolete or unavailable, students can no longer access the mathematical idea. Note that this does not mean that one should avoid the use of technology, it has incredible potential after all, but that one should pay attention to what students actually learn from using it just like you should pay attention to what students actually learn from your non-technology based tasks and lessons. Finally, incorporate what cognitive scientists suggest are high leverage long-term learning strategies.
It is possible to treat students as sense-makers while applying these principles from cognitive science to your teaching. A lot of people define themselves by what they're good at, but don't ever look to the things they aren't good at and think, 'Hey, I can improve on this. These are the words of one of my 10 th grade students, who openly admitted to hating math at the beginning of last school year.
Did he love math by June? Maybe not, but engaging in regular error analysis helped him see another side of himself.
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We practice informal error analysis daily in my classroom as part of the period's structure. When students enter each day, they write their work for one of the six to eight homework problems on a white board. For the rest of the period, each student presents his or her work while the other members of class take notes and analyze the problem-solving method being explained. The depth of student-to-student questioning and clarification demonstrates that they are evaluating the work shown rather than just settling for the final answer.
Through this process, students gain confidence in themselves as problem solvers. In an anonymous end-of-year course evaluation, one student described a change in mindset: "In previous years when I saw a math problem that looked daunting, I'd have skipped it. Now I read hard problems a second or third time and try out several ways of solving in an attempt to find a method that works.
Another student mentioned the value of mistakes for retention: "I thought that [talking about errors] would make me feel bad for not understanding the problem in the first place, but I realized that everyone makes mistakes. For me, figuring out where I went wrong and how to fix it helps me a lot. I often have a better time remembering how to do problem when I made a mistake rather than when I did it right the first time.
Students also do formal error analysis through test corrections. In fact, we dedicate an entire class period to such self-reflection on the day after a test. Students follow a protocol that involves rewriting their original work and then reworking the problem from scratch. To help with metacognition, students identify the nature of the error - simple, procedural, or conceptual - and devise a plan that will help them avoid that mistake in the future. My students tend to place a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves when it comes to testing.
Demystifying their missteps helps alleviate this pressure and allows them to view assessments as another tool for learning, rather than a device to measure success or failure. Plenty of students enter my classroom believing they are severely limited in their mathematical abilities. Error analysis can have a profound impact on those students in particular.
By normalizing mistakes and providing a safe space for discussion, many students have the same experience that this student recounted: "For me, just having the space to make errors and be able to fix them without judgment or criticism has made learning math easier. I love how we talk over our thought process in class. While I struggle with math, this system keeps me engaged, especially when we are discussing tough problems. Tammy L. Jones and Leslie A. Collectively, they have 40 years of classroom experience and have also provided professional development in 40 states.
Leslie and Tammy model strategies and offer teachers support throughout the school year, a practice that builds capacity at both building and district levels:. One of the biggest challenges facing high school teachers is getting students to want to learn the content required of the course. There are very few students who are excited about mathematics for mathematics sake.
In addition, few students believe they are good at math. Therefore, focusing on essential skills that can be used in the math classroom and beyond rather than on mathematical procedures is the key to success. To do this requires employing specific tools and differentiated support. Students at all levels need to be engaged, challenged, and supported. Here is a beginning list of practices secondary educators can employ to help maximize student success in their classrooms.
How can we teach students to become independent problem solvers with sound logical reasoning skills? Here are some simple ideas to begin the process. Let's start with eliminating the blank piece of paper. It is our belief that most students who disengage, do so because they do not know what to do, not because they don't care. Therefore, they need strategies for what to do when they don't know what to do. For example, when assigning a rich task or complex problem, ask students to work independently for a period of time timed writing before asking them to partner or before asking for volunteers from the class.
This allows all students time to process and make conjectures. Utilize the think- write -pair-share strategy. During the think time, require students to write by doing one of the following: 1 Determine a strategy that could be used to solve the problem; 2 Write a question they have about the problem; 3 Record everything they know about the content related to the problem.
This encourages struggling students to take ownership for the work. Before students can partner with others, there must be a response logged.