Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Responsive Classroom - Interactive Modeling

This week I'm taking a Responsive Classroom Workshop.  I love their whole approach to classroom management.  Through Engaging Academics, Positive Community, Effective Management, and Developmental awareness, their four key domains, teachers learn to create a supportive learning environment for their students.

Today we spent a lot of time on the concept of Interactive Modeling.  So often teachers tell students to do something and then get frustrated with the child doesn't do it "the right way."  Something as simple as turning in homework can be done differently in each classroom and children need to know what "turn in your homework" looks like in your particular classroom.  To do this you need to use Interactive Modeling.

Interactive Modeling looks like...
  1. Say what you are going to model and why.  Make sure you are clear, concise, and connect it to one of your classroom rules.  "We agreed that we take care of our materials in this classroom.  To do that I want to make sure you know how to put the glue away when you're finished with it."
  2. Model the behavior.  Don't narrate, just silently model.  The children can't pay close attention to your actions if they are also trying to listen to your words.
  3. Ask the students what they noticed. "What did you notice me doing?" If necessary you can use prompts to make sure all of the steps have been verbalized.  "Yes, I did put the bottle into the box.  What color was the box? Yes, that's correct, the green box is for glue."
  4. Invite one or more students to model, just as you did.  
  5. Again, as the students what they noticed.  This should largely be a repetition of step three, and the responses should be similar. 
  6. Have all students practice.  Depending on what you are modeling you can have all students model immediately, or have them take turns through out the day or week.  If they aren't modeling immediately, be sure to tell them that they will get a chance soon.  "You will each get a chance to paint this week and when it is your turn I'll watch to make sure you remember the steps to clean the paint brushes."  In my glue example you can have them all practice right away if there are enough glue bottles. 
  7. Provide feedback.  Reinforce successes.  "I notice that you closed the top of the glue bottle before putting it in the box.  You are helping to take care of our materials in this classroom."
Interactive Modeling can be used to teach routines (like how to respond to an attention signal), social and emotional skills (such has how to decide who goes first), and academic skills (such as how to create a graphic organizer).  

Remember that although you modeled the expected behavior and had the children practice, there is always the chance that they will "forget" or just get a little lax about following the process.  You may likely have to remodel and have them repractice throughout the year, depending on the class and complexity of the task.  

Interactive Modeling allows you to teach children how processes and routines work in your classroom so everyone knows what is expected, providing the structure and organization needed for a calm learning environment.

For more information about Interactive Modeling you can check out the Responsive Classroom website.

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