The "Responsive Classroom" is an approach to elementary teaching emphasizing social, emotional, and academic growth in a safe and strong school community. We believe that in order to be successful--both academically and socially--children need a set of social skills including empathy, cooperation, responsibility, assertion, and self-control.
Various practices are incorporated into the Responsive Classroom, including Morning Meeting, where we begin school by greeting one another, sharing news, and planning for the day ahead. At Birches, we also enjoy a Closing Circle, where we review our day (sharing highlights) and bid each other farewell, often with a handshake.
To learn more about the Responsive Classroom, please read Ruth Sidney Charney's Teaching Children to Care.