At JDS, our Affective Curriculum – our focus on building classroom community, developing positive relationships and meeting student needs for challenge and fun – forms the basis for all learning. Our teachers ground their approach to children in the principles of and training in the Responsive Classroom and Developmental Designs. We understand that children need a safe, challenging and joyful classroom and school-wide climate in order to flourish. We see that children learn best when they have strong academic and social-emotional skills, and we intentionally teach responding to a classmate in a discussion and working with a partner along with teaching reading comprehension and math concepts.
These principles guide our approach to responding to misbehavior as well. We believe that all children want to succeed and thrive, and that misbehavior provides an opportunity for important learning. Teachers focus on getting to know each student and developing trusting relationships which allow this work to take place. Students and teachers develop expectations for behavior and review predictable responses to misbehavior, which include Makom Shalom (also called Take a Break, TAB, and positive time–out,) logical consequences and individual problem solving conferences.
Some elements of our affective curriculum that students experience throughout our school are:
- Morning Meeting
- Collaborative Rule Creation
- Positive Teacher Language
- Logical Consequences
- Academic Choice
- Collaborative Problem Solving