In the Spotlight—Mission in Action
The Responsive Classroom

Blog post

Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach to teaching and discipline that focuses on engaging academics, positive community, effective management, and developmental awareness. It ensures that students’ needs for belonging, significance, and fun are met in each classroom and encourages positive engagement throughout the school day. The Responsive Classroom permeates our Lower School, creating a place where children know that they are valued as learners and people.

Highlights include:

Morning Meeting – Each class begins the day with a Morning Meeting. The sense of belonging and the skills of attention, listening, expression, and cooperative interaction are a foundation for every lesson, transition time, lining up, and conflict all year long.

Lower School-Wide Rules – After developing classroom rules together, “delegates” from each classroom will meet to determine the language for Lower School-Wide Rules to keep all of us consistent in specialist classrooms, on the playground, in the hallways, and around our campus.

Quiet Time – Offers children an opportunity to transition back into the classroom in a purposeful or relaxed way. Children can take a physical, mental, and emotional breather to help them reset and then effectively re-engage.

Maura Perotti is a First Grade Teacher and the Responsive Classroom Lead. She shares that in her “time growing up as a Country Day Lifer, one of the hallmarks of our school was the implicit curriculum, the lessons that we learned about being good people, good community members, that made Country Day the community it was. As the school has grown and evolved, we began looking to take all the valuable implicit teaching and to make it explicit. Enter Responsive Classroom. In our classrooms, the social-emotional curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.”