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Jule 09-29-2010 07:20 PM

time out
I have always wondered about the effectiveness of time out. I don't think I've ever had a student who minded time out enough to behave to avoid it. Same thing this year - my first with RC. They love it there. I tell them to think about how they can return to the group - but they are not close enough for me to monitor them that closely. They never say they are ready to come back and don't want to come back when I direct them to. I think they feel the same way about going into another room (although I seldom do that and haven't done it this year.) Once I even had a student come back and tell her mother she wanted to transfer into the other room. It's an adventure for them, they get to see what the other class is doing. And, if they are doing something fun next door, it really great to watch. The only kids who really don't want these times out are those who are well behaved most of the time.

I'm trying...but it isn't easy.

AddieJ 09-30-2010 01:12 PM

time out
My kids don't like time out. We discuss how sad it is to miss out on what the rest of the class is doing. They all want to be included and "time out" is when they're not so no one wants to go there. It really depends on the age of the kids though; mine are kindergarteners and, for the most part, are in the development stage where they like to follow the rules (does NOT mean that everyone does however ;)) time outs are a frequent thing in kdg too.

About the buddy classroom, the child should not be allowed to watch what the other class is doing. They should be instructed to go to that room, put their head down at a table and take their time out. Any reflection sheets should be done in the homeroom; the buddy teacher shouldn't have to do anything with the child that's coming in. We use study carrels (like these and the child's back is to the class so they can be monitored but the sides of the desk reduce the temptation to look around. The buddy teacher should know about the "rules" of the buddy room too - keeps everyone (teachers & students) on the same page.

I would revisit the rules of time out/buddy room with your repeat offenders. Although time out is a chance for students to regroup & get ready to rejoin the group it shouldn't be viewed as a "fun place!" The goal for all students is to be active members of the class & if they're in time out, they're not working on that goal.

Jule 09-30-2010 08:38 PM

Thanks Addie,
Very helpful. I didn't realize their backs were to be to the class, but it makes sense.

Mrs. R :) 10-02-2010 04:56 AM

A word about Time Out
It is NOT punitive.

Children should not be made to feel excluded or that they are missing out on something.

Time Out is a place where children go to get back in control. Children need to learn the skills and strategies for controlling their chatter, bodies and minds. And one of the strategies we teach them is to take a minute and remove yourself from the group to regain focus and control.

Think of it this way: When we take a time out from our busy lives to go shopping, read a book or have a girls' night, we aren't being punitive. We are refilling ourselves so we can carry on with the demands of our lives. In essense we are regaining our self-control and finding our center.

This is the same principle for the Time Out spot in a Responsive Classroom. The Time Out Chair should be in a spot where the child can continue to be part of the lesson, but far enough away so he or she can do the job of regaining self control. Hopefully you've taught them ways to do that (ddep breaths, counting to 20, relaxing their bodies) and taught them how to return to the group.

This was a big shift in my own learning, but a really, really important one. If you frame Time Out correctly for the children, you will be amazed at the sense of purpose it has for them.

PLEASE watch this

And read this

As for the Buddy Teacher; I have never heard that the child must be physically barred from the class with their backs to the other children. Actually, I know that goes against the Principles of RC. That is not respectful, and in my opinion, harkens back to the days of the DUNCE cap. please be careful about this and why you are not allowing children to see and be seen. If you read the article below, there are specific behaviors you must teach for this strategy to be effective.

Then, please post back with more clarifying questions. I hope these pieces from NEFC help you! They helped me!
Please do not mistake my tone... I am not trying to hurt anyone's feelings here! I hope I didn't, b/c that is not my intent!!!!!

AddieJ 10-02-2010 07:29 AM

just to clarify my responses
When my children are in time out, they are sitting away from the group. They don't contribute to the lesson from time out - although they can see the lesson, their goal in time out is to regain control & be able to return to full participation. So, in a sense, they are missing out on some of the lesson because they need a break. When we are doing a whole group lesson, everyone wants to be a part of the discussion and when a time out is needed, they don't necessarily want to leave. We've talked about the reason for time out, why kids use it in our room, what to do while you are in time out and they seem to understand all of that but they still must leave the group in order to take the time out and that's what I was referring to in my post. (Just to note: time out is after the take a break where they just scoot back from the group. The next step is a bit further away from the group when take a break isn't enough.)

As for the buddy room, I've never thought of having a child turn their back to the group like wearing a dunce cap. For some kids, it is exciting to see what's going on in the other classroom and for them to really get back on track, the need a quiet corner. Our class has talked about the need for the buddy room and what to do while there but the kids still like the chance to possibly wave at a friend or watch what's going on in the other room's play areas. A study carrel provides a quiet place to regain their control & not be distracted by the environment around them. They don't need to be a part of the lesson in the buddy room in any way so they don't need to sit in a place to watch what's going on.

My feelings aren't hurt; I guess I was misunderstood and that happens. I wanted to clarify my answers. My RC trainer had said she used privacy shields with reminders on how to regain self-control posted inside at the desk where kids came from the buddy room and sat. While the children's backs were to the group, they actually did the "activities" (count to 10, do stretches, deep breaths, etc.) and returned to their class ready to participate. I took the idea from her and it's worked fine in my room.

AddieJ 10-02-2010 08:07 AM

Thanks for the article links! Great resources.

Mrs. R :) 10-03-2010 06:43 AM

Great Addie
I'm glad I didn't hurt your feelings here! I hope I gave you a little something to think about in relation to your take a break. That was my goal.

One question I have is why you have 2 "Time Out" spots? I think I interpret that as sending the message to the children that one spot (the scoot away spot) can be a "warning" and one is the place where you are going b/c you weren't able to get in control. Do you see what I mean? I submit that perhaps by having 2 places, you may be inadvertently sending the message that the "chair" spot is for really naughty kids and the Buddy teacher is for really, really naughty kids.

It is my understanding that the Take a Break spot should be used as soon as you see kids starting to loose self-control. That's when you catch them and send them there to regain it. You may give a verbal warning by using reminding or refirecting languge, but there really is only one place to "go" to get back your self-control.

Having said ALL of that, I also will say that if you follow the principles of the RC Approach, and you know your children as well as you know the curriculum you teach, then you also know what works for your children. As long as you have taught them that this is a strategy for regaining self-control, and it's okay to need a place and a time to do that, and there is no sadness in needing that time, then I think perhpas how you designate spots is up to you as the teacher. So, keep your consequences respectful, relevant and realistic and you'll never go wrong, right?!

Glad the resources were helpful for you. I love the RC Site and I am proud to be working as a Consulting Teacher in my District. It is amazing to have the opportunity to work with educators like yourself who care about the social curriculum as much as the academic!

Mrs. R

Lottalove 10-03-2010 07:59 AM

I use Time out for the SpEd kids too
but have modified it to their needs (as I should)...

Only two children ever "need" it...

Child A has non-medicated ADHD and bi-polar. He is 10 but very, very small. He gets out of control very quickly. I give him a two-minute Time out as close to me as possible. He simply sits next to me at the table with his head down and is not allowed to speak. It gives him two minutes to slow down and breathe and ME two minutes to actually think and get a couple sentences out. [Sometimes he needs an additional two minutes.]

The other student, Child B, is a huge fifth grader with ODD and ADHD (also not medicated). We instituted a "Take 5" for him where either HE or I can assign a time out for 5 minutes. When his anger builds or begins to spiral, he takes his privacy notebook and removes himself from the group. He puts his head down or writes out his frustration anger in his notebook. Afterwards, he will choose to discuss it with me or shreds it--again his choice.

All of the other students have consequences that do not include time out for the most part. However, there are times when if they are fighting about a book, pencil, pen, toy or other classroom object, the object gets a time out and gets placed on top of my big cabinet for an indeterminate length of time.

AddieJ 10-03-2010 01:30 PM

I was told in my RC trainings (I've been through RC1 & RC2) that take a break and time out are two different spots. In my classroom, as soon as I see someone need a break, I either whisper their name or make eye contact and do the ASL sign for "rest" (arms crossed over chest - reminds me of a butterfly.) They scoot back from the group (when on the floor) or put their head down on table and take a quick break. If they need another intervention then it's to sit in the "blue chair" (or time out spot.) It's still for a short time and they can still see the class. The next step would be the buddy room. My buddy seat is closer to the door so the child doesn't need to cross the room to get to their time out spot. I didn't want to get stuck where I had my student in time out and a child coming in from my buddy teacher's room and not have consistent spots to sit for both kids.

Did I misunderstand something from the workshops? Should I only have one seat? Is "take a break" and "time out" the same thing? I thought the take a break was the first opportunity the child gets to regain control and continue with the lesson with very little interruption - not much redirecting language at this point. Time out was used as step two - both are still used & explained as being for the same purpose - just time out comes after the take a break. I do use more redirecting language with time out because I can get over to their spot and have a more private quick pep talk. Time out is not worse than buddy room is not worse than time out. All are used for the same purpose. I can see how it can be seen as that way but it depends on how it's all explained & practiced. Maybe I need to go back and read my workbooks...
I hope that's not all confusing.

Mrs. R :) 10-03-2010 04:36 PM

It is so not confusing, but I want to double check my own understanding b/c you seem so clear on your knowledge.

I will do some investigating to clarify. I have to be honest, I have never heard of tab and TO to be two different things; same day different name. I believe that if you watch Caltha Crowe and others in the Time Out video, they never speak about "levels" as such. Take a Break is Time Out...

Let me contact my colleagues at NEFC and see what they say...

AddieJ 10-03-2010 06:19 PM

thank you
I'm curious now too and I will talk to my principal this week because maybe the idea of tab & TO being two different things came from our school...I had my RC1 in 2004 so it's been a while and we've been doing it this way at our school since then (everyone follows the same "procedure" -if you can call it that.) I don't know why my principal would want to change it and it doesn't make sense that he would but that doesn't mean it wasn't changed.
Thank you for checking for me.

Mrs. R :) 10-06-2010 11:52 AM

Hi Addie
I haven't forgotten about you... just awaitin' on a reply!:)

AddieJ 10-06-2010 03:30 PM

that's what I thought...
I'm glad you're sure got me thinking (which is always a very good thing!) I asked my principal and he said he doesn't recall changing anything about what we learned in our training sessions. I asked if he could check and I didn't get a very enthusiastic response so I took it as a probably not. I would, however, like to bring this topic up with our staff at either a meeting or at a workshop we're having at the end of October and gain feedback/insight from them. I totally see how making it "leveled" can give the idea that one is worse than the other and that is NOT our intentions (at least not mine and I'm hoping it's the same for the staff.)
thanks again.

peggyteach 10-24-2010 06:30 PM

time out
The RC position on time out is that it is used so that a child can regain self-control (as all Logical consequences) . There are no steps, it is used as needed, as often as needed for the child. The buddy teacher is used when the teacher feels that a timeout outside the classroom would be more effective. It is ok to sent a child right to the buddy teacher - the teacher's decision is based on what is happening. Just as it is ok to call to the office if a child needs to be removed by a crisis team for disruptive/violent behavior
The delivery of the consequence is very matter-of-fact with the message that it is helpful for the child to get back on track. So the words and tone need to be neutral - which can be hard - but skill worth developing!

I have found that rules and steps are hard to be consistent with - but when I make decisions based on the individual needs of the kids, then it makes more sense. I have 4th graders, and my goal is to have them begin to monitor their behavior. It looks different at each grade.

All of these responses to being given a logical consequence such as TO or going to he buddy teacher need to be interactively modeled - so everyone has a chance to practice.

Every class is different and sometimes many need to have frequent time-outs Not easy. But keeping in mind that the main goal is to have the child regain self-control and not to make them feel bad about themselves.
Time-out can be a lifesaver - for the kids and for ME! and these discussions help us all to think just how it can work in our classrooms.

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