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How do you explain this to students?
Old 08-06-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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Ok, bear with me-I'm new to the responsive classroom approach. I have owned the Morning Meeting Book and The First Six Weeks of School for years, but I'm just reading them this summer for the first time. I would really like to try these ideas out in my classroom this year.

From my understanding, a responsive classroom does not have a set "behavior management system"-is that correct? I'm talking about flip cards, red/green/yellow lights, etc. This past year I had "behavior folders," which contained a calendar and a key. Whenever a child did something inappropriate they had to write the corresponding behavior from the key onto their calendar (a triangle meant "I will keep my hands to myself"). With a responsive classroom approach, I will not need these "systems," correct?

My next question is, how do you explain everything to the children? I teach kindergarten, and they are so literal. I'm worried about them feeling like our classroom is a free-for-all if they don't have pre-determined consequences for inappropriate behavior (such as sitting out during play time). During the 2nd week of school we make our class rules together, and then talk about the behavior management system. How do you explain a responsive classroom approach to 5-year-olds?

Also, how do you find time to speak with children about what they did and what their consequence should be? Kindergartners are so needy, that it's difficult to find time to speak 1 on 1 with a child.

If you have some posts or articles to refer me to, I would really appreciate it! I can't afford to purchase more books this summer, so free resources would be great.


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Old 08-08-2010, 04:56 AM
 
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I'm completely new as well, just reading the book Teaching Children to Care... So I am not speaking from direct experience, BUT my thought is that for the first time, we don't actually have to explain the system to students.

By doing it, by reinforcing, redirecting, and reminding, by using Guided Discovery to open new materials and areas of the room, and by using Logical Consequences, the students will get it. In fact, explaining a system seems more abstract to me than actually using these tools.

I plan to jump in with hopes and dreams (leading to rules), guided discovery, and the 3 R's. I teach first grade all second language learners, so language-wise similar to kinder.

What do you think?
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:50 AM
 
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I have been to RC training levels one and two. You will not need any predetermined systems for behavior. In fact, using one can actually be detrimental to students.
If you are using your teacher language to remind, reinforce and redirect the children you should not need to explain anything to them. You will be proactive in preventing problems before they start because you are responding to their needs at their developmental stage. You will be using interactive modeling to show procedures and expectations, you will be doing guided discovery to introduce materials to them, and you will be given them choices in their activities so they will be engaged and this equals optimal learning.
Remember, you are adhering to all children's sense of belonging, significance and fun when you implement a RC approach. If you need help, please ask...I will be using this approach until the day I retire. I see such growth both socially and academically in my fourth graders and I am sure you will in your kinders. Good luck to you!
 
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:58 AM
 
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Quote:
During the 2nd week of school we make our class rules together, and then talk about the behavior management system. How do you explain a responsive classroom approach to 5-year-olds?
One thing you will also do is to have your Hopes and Dreams in place before you have your rule creation discussion. This will allow you to tie them into one another "If Susie wants to get better at sharing, how will we need to behave so that can happen?" You will also talk about (later) logical consequences. "So, sometimes it is really hard to follow our rules. And sometimes we even forget and mess up. So, my job is to help you learn how to fix something when you forget and break a rule." This is how the children learn that you will hold them accountable for their behavior and it is not a "free for all" in your room.

Also, the first few days of school, you will be proactive and set some rules by introducing a Quiet Signal (raised hand, chime) You'll also develop some general "Meeting Rules" that will help lay the foundation for your rules discussion later.

I hope these ideas help!
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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Thanks, everyone!

I just re-read The First Six Weeks of School, and I took a lot of notes. I'm very visual, so this really helped. I think I'm really beginning to understand how everything fits together and how I can help students understand everything.

I'm just worried about how time-consuming it will be to talk the kids through everything. I know it's the right thing to do and it will be worth it, but I'm worried that sometimes I will "brush something off" just because I don't have time to deal with it. It's just so much easier for a teacher to say, "Move your clip to yellow" and be done with it.

I'm excited to see how different my classroom will be this year, though. It's like something was missing from my classroom last year, and I think this is it!


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Old 08-08-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Maybe you can put a little money away to buy Rules in School for your next purchase (I know you don't want to buy it now) because that will help you with the introduction and explaining part of the scenario. I took notes directly from the book's section on introducing it to K-2 children and I introduce it with those exact words. I'm really shocked how well my kids undertand why they "lose a privilege" or "take a break" because of these lessons I use to introduce them. Is there someone you can borrow it from perhaps? Are you the only one who uses RC in your school?

If you break the strategy down, and look at the intention behind the strategy that might help you in explaining it. For example, what are the guidelines for losing a privilege? What is some kid language for losing a privilege? (closed for today?) When do they get it back? Are they 'bad' for breaking the rule? OR What is the purpose of taking a break? How does it help us? What do we do there? How do we go there? How do we come back?

Here is the site index of previous articles where you might find something helpful if you click on one of the topics to browse:
http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/n...er/search.html

Good luck!
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Another place to go...
Old 08-09-2010, 04:33 AM
 
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The multimedia library on the RC Site. You can see an overview on how to introduce/create rules and LOTS of other great stuff.

Check it out!
http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/multimedia/
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