Instructional Methods

Responsive Classroom is an approach to teaching that helps to create an environment where students can experience successful individual and group learning. The focus is on creating and optimizing social, emotional and academic growth in a nurturing community. The goal is to create engaging, active and collaborative lessons that allow students to develop an understanding of the subject, and translate that information into understanding and application.

Responsive Classroom Principles

1. The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.

2. How children learn is as important as what they learn.

3. The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.

4. There is a particular set of social skills that children need in order to be successful academically or socially.

5. Knowing the children we teach is as important as knowing the content we teach,

6. Knowing the parents of the children we teach is as important as knowing the children,

7.  Positive interactions with adults in a great school has an impact on children, other families and  it provides the school a model for relational excellence.

See this video


Inquiry Based Learning

Have you ever noticed how many questions kids can have? We believe that learning how to ask great questions, and find the right resource or tool, is essential for discovering solutions to problems.

Inquiry-based instruction is a student-centered and teacher-guided instructional approach that engages students in investigating real world questions that they choose within a broad thematic framework. Inquiry is a natural process to help people understand problems and situations. Thinking though dilemmas can lead to meaningful discovery. This sense of wonder can initiate an internal motivation to learn more, and to allow the questions to guide discovery, and critical thinking.

Research reveals that the amount of student learning that occurs in a classroom is directly proportional to the quality and quantity of student involvement in the educational program (Cooper and Prescott 1989). Yet research studies indicate that teachers typically dominate classroom conversation, consuming nearly 70% of classroom time. Inquiry-based instructional approaches reverse this trend, placing students at the helm of the learning process and teachers in the role of learning facilitator, coach, and modeler.