According to their website, “Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach to teaching and discipline that focuses on engaging academics, positive community, effective management, and developmental awareness” (Responsive Classroom, 2019). This approach to teaching expands the learning of students through an interactive approach (Responsive Classroom, 2019). This evidence-based social emotional learning program is the foundation of our learning community at Valley Crossing. To help support this approach to teaching and learning Valley Crossing also has written their own Regulation Curriculum that has adopted content from many contributors in the field of social emotional well-being. The Regulation Curriculum lessons are taught by all homebase teachers and reinforced by teachers and staff throughout the building.
Responsive Classroom and the Regulation Curriculum focus on developing the skills of cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, self-control, self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-regulation. A TEDx talk by Susan Kaiser Greenlandoutlines the principles and framework for the Regulation Curriculum and explains the value that social emotional learning can have on student development. You can view how Responsive Classroom and the Regulation Curriculum’s first six weeks of lesson align here.
Each week in the Regulation Curriculum, students will learn about the weekly topic through an interactive lesson. Students are then taught a movement and mindfulness tool that compliments the topic of the week and assists the student with integrating the topic into their daily practice at home, school, or in the community. The movement activities consist of yoga poses that are meant to assist students with either activating or grounding their bodies in preparation for learning. Our use of yoga is entirely secular and founded under the principles of Yoga Calm©. Our use of movement is meant to address the need for self-regulation, emotional resilience, and other social/emotional skills and does not include chanting or other religious concepts.
Mindfulness, defined in our curriculum is, “paying attention to the here and now with kindness and curiosity so we can choose our response”. The mindfulness lessons in the curriculum are purely meant to teacher students how to be present in the moment by being aware through the use of one of their five senses. By being present, students strengthen their focus skills. Research indicates that mindfulness can help improve academic performance. Again, the mindfulness techniques taught to students are secular and do not include any chanting or religious components.
Your child(ren) will be sharing the lessons they are learning from Responsive Classroom and the Regulation Curriculum. We encourage you to ask them reflective questions and have them review with you the tools they are learning to help ready their body to learn. The curriculum is linked above. Feel free to follow along in the curriculum and practice the activities as a family. You will be amazed what happens when these activities become a part of your everyday routine!
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have about the Regulation Curriculum.