"The Responsive Classroom is an approach to elementary teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. The goal is to enable optimal student learning." From http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/index.html
This summer I had the opportunity to attend a week long workshop on Responsive Classroom. While I have only had the chance to attend the first session, hopefully next summer I'll get the second dose, I will be implementing many of the ideas and philosophies in my classroom this year. Our goal is also to carry these ideas and philosophies school-wide. While many of the strategies are the way I, as the teacher conduct my classroom, one of the components your children will be talking about the most, is our Morning Meetings. Below I describe the four components of Morning Meeting and the goals behind each component.
Greeting: Greeting is a time where every child is greeted to begin the day. There are a variety of different greetings we will use from a high-five to a song or tossing a ball. The greeting provides a sense of belonging, allows children to learn everyone's name, practices the social skill of how to greet someone when you see them, and starts the day in a positive way.
Sharing: During sharing students are given a time to tell something about themselves while other students get to ask questions or make comments. Many skills are practiced during shares. The sharers are practicing speaking to a group in a loud, clear voice, while also learning how to construct a topic sentence. The rest of the group is practicing their listening skills as well as developing their inquiry skills and their ability to empathize with their classmates. Sharing is an opportunity for the class to get to know more about each other each day.
Activity: The activity is a short activity that might be an active game, a math activity, a song, a reading, or a chant. It helps foster active participation in a fun, safe environment. The group activity also can be used to practice academic skills and helps practice the skills in CARES (cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control).
Morning Message: The Morning Message is a message written by the teacher and is awaiting the students when they arrive in the morning. The message helps children reflect on the previous day, gives some insight as to what the new day will bring, and includes some academic skill practice.