Skip to content Skip to footer

RDI Back-to-School Principles

Students should participate in real-world projects, AKA experiential learning:

  • Provides increased emotional investment in the task
  • Students gain a perception of belonging to a larger community
  • Students have challenging but appropriate roles so that they obtain a gradual perception of mastery
  • Students function as apprentices to the teacher who is the master
  • Many different activities can be part of the same larger project
  • Students can work on the same larger project at different levels and assigned roles on an individual basis:

    o What role they are ready for?
    o How much scaffolding is needed?
    o Where can each child participate in an active, competent way?
  • Students are not placed in peer collaboration situations until they have learned the foundational skills to be successful as a collaborator
  • Students are afforded opportunities to observe the attitudes and strategies of safe, masterful Models
  • School activities and homework assignments emphasize active mental engagement, rather than passively absorbing or accumulating information
  • Assignments emphasize and appreciate active thinking over content acquisition
  • Assignments emphasize and appreciate quality over quantity of learning • Communication is modified to emphasize mindfulness, self-regulation and experience sharing
  • Declarative emphasis (see handout)
  • Broad-bandwidth emphasis (this includes non-verbal facial expression, gesture, prosody, body orientation)
  • Indirect prompts replace direct prompts whenever possible (see handout)
  • Visual structure replacing oral prompts whenever possible • Teachers implement methods to increase students’ episodic memory
  • Teachers use “spotlighting” to distinguish meaningful information
  • Each student should keep some form of a journal (photos of meaningful experiences and accomplishments would be wonderful) Share between home and school to promote conversation.
  • Every student need’s to carefully learn how to select important events to record
  • Students are provided with lesson preview periods to aid the child focus on what is most
    important in an upcoming lesson
  • Teachers conduct lesson reflection periods, customized to each student’s ability and means of reflecting, to determine what the child has retained • Behavioral management plans are geared towards developing self-regulation
  • Student objectives include learning to reference their environment and teacher
  • Teachers maintain regularity through routines, but emphasize variation (continuity amidst manageable change)

Important initial sample goals to increase students motivations to learn in classroom from teacher: “Apprenticeship”

  1. Student shifts, directs and maintains attention where teacher is focused, without direct prompts
  2. Student regularly shifts attention from personal tasks, to monitor teacher expectations and classroom activity
  3. Student maintain materials in an organized manner, including caring for tools and putting things back in proper places
  4. Student respects limits and boundaries of the classroom, including physical boundaries, individual personal boundaries and different requirements for periods of the day
  5. Student carefully observes the actions and attitudes of teachers, and models their task
    implementation, relative emphasis and level· of care replicating teacher’s actions
  6. Student regularly monitors communication to check for accurate understanding & to request and provide clarification
Share This