Newspaper Article for Grade Proposal : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Newspaper Article for Grade Proposal

-- Anonymous, May 19, 1999


Responsive Classroom Workshop Slated for August

Can we doubt that the needs of our children today will impact our society tomorrow? It is clear that children are in greater jeopardy now than at any time in our nations history. Families and institutions are struggling to provide for the basic well-being of our young. By necessity, the role of the school is shifting.

For more than a decade, The Northeast Foundation for Children has promoted the development of a social curriculum in elementary school classrooms. The mission of the Foundation is to help teachers see their academic instruction and curriculum content in a broader and more encompassing context of social interaction and moral purpose for their students.

The Northeast Foundation for Children believes that the schools greatest contribution to the future will be the way it helps to weave and strengthen the social fabric of the community it serves. How children are treated and how they learn to treat others is the central educational issue confronting our nation. Our children not only face a crisis in learning, but also a crisis in learning to care.

In International Falls, a committee of students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members was established to observe student behaviors and assess whether or not there was a need for a social skills behavior intervention program. The committee determined the need existed, then selected the Responsive Classroom which is the intervention program sponsored by The Northeast Foundation for Children.

The Responsive Classroom is an approach to classroom management and instructional delivery that integrates the teaching of academic skills and the teaching of social skills as on-going part of everyday school life. This approach is built around six central components: 1. Classroom Organization that provides active interest areas for students, space for student-created displays of work, and an appropriate mix of whole, group and individual instruction. 2. Morning Meeting format that provides children the daily opportunity to practice greetings, conversation, sharing, problem-solving, and motivates them to meet the academic challenges of the day ahead. 3. Rules and Logical Consequences that are generated, modeled and role-played with the children and that become the cornerstone of classroom life. 4. Academic Choice for all children each day in which they must take control of their own learning in some meaningful way, both individually and cooperatively. 5. Guided Discovery of learning materials, areas of the room, curriculum content and ways of behaving that moves children through a deliberate and careful introduction to each new experience. 6. Assessment and Reporting to parents that is an evolving process of mutual communication and understanding.

Any of these six components can be implemented independently and enhance the social and academic curriculum of any classroom or school. The components are set in the context of commonly shared values, such as honesty, fairness and respect, and are implemented through the development and strengthening of social skills, such as cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control. Implemented gradually, each of the six components can help build a cohesive social curriculum that should be shaped around the particular community needs of any school.

Thanks to grant money from the Center for Preventing Rural Violence and The Northland Foundation, nearly forty teachers from International Falls will participate in a Responsive Classroom implementation workshop to be held this summer, August 16-20, at the Holiday Inn in International Falls. Check out the website for more information about the Northeast Foundation for Children and the Responsive Classroom program.

-- Anonymous, May 19, 1999

Hi Karen, Beth, Dawn,and Kim, The meeting on Friday with Terri Shannon produced some helpful suggestions for all cohort members. The particular suggestion for your group is that you need to do a broader review of the literature to formulate your question. (You may come up with a similar question, but need to review more of the literature in the field.) This is all part of the learning process to write the best research paper possible. We will be in touch. Thank you, Mary Ann

-- Anonymous, June 06, 1999

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