Classroom Models


Elementary School

The elementary grades at University School operate under the Responsive Classroom Model. This model is characterized a social curriculum model. A clear social curriculum can help build a classroom into a learning community where high social and academic goals are both attained. The six central components of the model integrate teaching, learning and caring into the daily program.


Classroom Organization: provides active interest areas for students, space for student-created displays of work, and an appropriate mix of whole class, group, and individual instruction.

Morning Meeting: a format that provides students the daily opportunity to practice greetings, conversation, sharing, and problem-solving, and motivates them to meet the academic challenges of the day ahead.

Rules and Logical Consequences: these are generated, modeled, and role-played with the students and become the cornerstone of classroom life.

Academic Choice: for all students each day in which they must take control of their own learning in some meaningful way, both individually and cooperatively.

Guided Discovery: Moves the students through a deliberate and careful introduction to each new experience.

Assessment and Reporting: to parents that is an evolving process of mutual communication and understanding.


The outcome of such a program includes a balance of teacher-directed instruction and child-initiated learning, student responsibility for work and environment, caring behavior, problem solving ability both socially and academically, parental involvement and understanding.