I spent the week becoming familiar with the daily routines and observing Carole teach. I was amazed by the sense of community in the classroom – each student is unique and plays an integral role in the Room 17 family. I was able to see democratic practice in action – where each child’s voice is heard and valued. Because of this, the students are genuinely invested in all aspects of the classroom throughout the school day. This creates an authentic educational environment, where the children are engaged and dedicated to their own learning.
The following is a list of some of the routines and happenings I observed, and insights that I gained during my first week of student teaching (click Read More):
- Responsive Classroom: In addition to the Morning Meeting, there are many other aspects of the Responsive Classroom in practice in Room 17. At the beginning of the year, the students take part in creating the rules and logical consequences that will be followed both in and out of the classroom. This year, the students created a class constitution based on the district’s Core Ethical Values – Respect, Responsibility, Courage, Kindness, and Honesty. Each day, the students are engaged in learning that is student focused and driven, where they work collaboratively to solve authentic, real-world problems.
- Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop: Both reading and writing are taught through the workshop model. Most workshops begin with a mini-lesson, which focuses on a specific concept, strategy or skill. The concept/strategy/skill is explained and modeled, and the students are sent off to practice using the new information in their own reading and writing. Some days the work consists of independent reading and writing, while other days the students partner up and participate in buddy reading and other tasks. While the students are engaged in their work, the teacher will circulate and conference with students. These conferences allow the students to work one-on-one with the teacher and target specific areas of need.