The Power of Responsive Classroom

This is a short Monday Focus because I am at the SAANYS conference presenting today. I just want to re-blog this post from Responsive Classroom.  This is our school too.

The Power of Responsive Classroom

by Lora Hodges on

Sometimes a few little numbers can tell a great big story. That’s the case with the changing numbers of disciplinary referrals at Palmyra-Macedon Primary School in Palmyra, NY.

When the Responsive Classroom approach really began to take hold in this school, disciplinary referrals (overall numbers of referrals as well as numbers of students referred) dropped dramatically. And the pattern held even in the year when the school’s enrollment shot up (2013–2014).

Even though I’m a strong believer in the power of the Responsive Classroom approach to help every child, in every school, succeed academically and socially every day, it’s still a thrill to see numbers like these. I know this particular school community feels uplifted by their success and glad that they stayed the course, even when they experienced some bumpy patches in their schoolwide implementation. And I hope the story their numbers tell will help all of you stay the Responsive Classroom course as well.File 2550


Now look at our school!  To see the full post click here.

 Referrals School Year
192 2008-2009
161 2009-2010
142 2010-2011
64 2011-2012
52 2012-2013
21 2013-2014

Here it is in graph form:

Discipline Data


The data shows what we are doing.  It even shows in our ELA and Math NYS growth scores.  In 2013, East Side was a total score of 3 for combined ELA and Math grades 4 and 5.  In 2014, the total combined score —-  17.  This is out of 20 points.  With the combination of explicit teaching and firm beliefs of student engagement, the academic curriculum does go hand in hand with the social and emotional curriculum.  It works!  Keep it going!




Other News

  • Bus Duty for Oct 20- Oct 217 Team 4:  Steph Plaisted, Brooke Crump, Kim Johnson.  Upcoming bus duty: Nov 3 – Nov 14:  Team 5:  Mindy Backus, Pam Mahay, Barb Gauthier, Jennifer Nichols
  • DWIS is Monday, October 20th at West Side School 7:30a.m.
  • Please look at the calendar of events.  We do have a kick-off for spirit week tomorrow.  Check your email please.  Thanks.
  • What are the five things you are grateful for?  Make a list daily.  It does wonders!
  • Be the change agent for kids!  Be a champion for kids.  Every kid deserves a champion!

Other Items of Interest (Read at your leisure!)

  • Although it is just a small step, the recent Regents action about Pathways is an encouraging sign that recognition is growing that a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work. You can read the Regents item.
  • STEM + PBL + Zombies = lessons for all of us about engagement.
  • Yes, CK-12 has provided free, flexible online textbooks. Now they also have videos, online lab demonstrations, and more.
  • Yet another study has confirmed the relationship between higher expectations and student achievement. In this case, high expectations have been shown to have an enduring effect, reaching all the way to college completion.
  • Students from across the country are using Student Voice, #StuVoice, to organize a positive and productive student voice in their schools.
  • Check out the introduction to the Buck Institute’s guide to PBL at the elementary level. 
  • In good Project Based Learning, students learn to have a “Growth Mindset” while learning in more engaging and meaningful ways (says Carol Dweck in this video).
  • This recorded Hangout from the Buck Institute is about helping teachers with Project Based Learning.
  • The reluctance to consider Project Based Learning is sometimes due to a reluctance to change. It can also be due to some misconceptions. This column can clarify those misconceptions about PBL. By the way, the author, Suzie Boss, will be returning for PBLNY 2015!
  • How should we teach grammar? Although we actually know the answer, we don’t necessarily follow the research. Here’s more. By the way, the answer isn’t separate, rule-focused instruction.
  • This collection of tips for elementary classrooms is an eclectic collection. Chances are, though, you’ll find some ideas that will work for you. 
  • When a group of professionals are learning together, that doesn’t mean they are a Professional Learning Community (PLC). They are professionals and they are learning, however, and here are the keys to their successful [professional] learning.
  • Instead of perpetuating the educational lottery in which kids can “win” the good teacher, all teachers can be the good teacher when a school operates as a Professional Learning Community.
  • This Rick Stiggins article about assessment does a good job explaining the differences between formative, classroom assessment and assessment for accountability (state tests, etc.).

A Touch of Humor


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