I’m working on adapting and implementing an idea from Developmental Designs called “Take a break”. Here is how it’s described on their website:
TAB is a redirection that allows students to regain composure and self-control by moving a short distance away from the class for a few moments. The TAB location is a designated quiet space, close enough to the activity that the student is not isolated. TAB can be teacher-directed or student-directed. The goal is for students to learn how to recognize when they are losing focus and get themselves back on track-an important life skill. The message students receive is: “We are working together to make sure everything we do aligns with our social contract. When anyone slips, I’ll use Take a Break or another redirection cue to alert you to the fact that you’ve crossed the line; after that, it’s up to you to quickly regulate yourself. After the cue, you are in control of things.”
I created this simple draft sheet for students to draw or write on when the go to the “Take a Break” seat. Since my class is in 100% Spanish. I don’t always have a chance to process with students and my hope is offering this sheet might give them a chance to let me know what’s going on when things aren’t going well.
We do have a school-wide form called a “Reflection Form”. Which is similar to what Bryce Hedstrom uses here and calls a Think Sheet. But, our reflection form is a part of the consequence ladder and I’m hoping that TAB and this “What’s up?” sheet can be used earlier on, more frequently and sometimes even be initiated by students.
I will definitely need to monitor it and be sure that students aren’t using it as a way to avoid expressing themselves in Spanish or being in class. So, I’ll let you know how this experiment goes as I try it out during the next couple of months.
Are you doing anything new this year with your classroom management?