At my school, they are talking about adopting a policy that would not allow us to take away recess time from students as a punishment. Currently that is the most common punishment used by all teachers. Students generally lose 5 minutes for bad behavior. What are some other consequences that you use? We definitely need other ideas! Thank you!
It seems like they take away any leverage we have as teachers. I don't like to take away recess because I feel like the kids need that time, but there's so little we can do to discipline without taking recess away.
I take away recess too as a punishment. Some teachers at our school have the students "walk the fence." Instead of just standing/sitting out, the students have to walk the entire time between a couple designated fence posts. That way, they are still getting exercise, but it is a punishment because they aren't getting to play ball or use any of the playground equipment.
(I'm not in the US BTW) to take away recess. I wouldn't anway. Many of my students have a 2 hour busride to school - leaving their homes at 5 a.m. so the morning recess is often when they need to eat a small mid morning breakfast to supplement what they ate at 4:30 at their homes. However, they get sent to the office and they are issued an immediate detention for the after noon and they need to take the late bus home.
Due to the new wellness policy we are no longer allowed to take recess away from students as a punishment. We also can not make them walk as a punishment during recess. I used to have them walk a certain number of laps before they could go play. They say this is making the children view exercise as a punishment. We are also at a loss as to what to do for a punishment for behavior issues.
I don't take away recess because I just don't think that's a logical consequence for bad behavior. I base my consequences on "you break it you fix it" meaning that if the rule being broken has something to do with someone's feelings then the child needs to appologize or go to the peace table and work it out. Students being disruptful to class go to "take a break." The student has to go to a designated area and write/draw in the "Take-a-break" journal about why they are there. Then they rejoin the group. Sometimes if a child isn't working well in a group, I just make them work independently.
Before you even start dishing out consequences I strongly suggest you make sure a rule is being broken at all. I realized that I was giving out consequences for things that I just found irritating, rather than things that were truly breaking rules.
What is an example of how you would have a student turn a card for being "irritating" rather than breaking a rule?
I agree that ideally the punishment should match the broken rule or misbehavior. However, losing recess time seems like the appropriate punishment for something like not completing homework because like I tell the students, "You chose to take recess time while the other students were being responsible and completing their homework. Therefore you should sit while they take their recess time today."
You need to have a consensus when a school or state is looking at the great recess debate. I just moved to a school that allows "wall" time for students who don't obey the school wide rules. Anyone from a classroom teacher, aide, specialist ,or support staff may give wall time for infractions. Every Adult supports every child and enforces the school wide behavior code. The day custodian at my new school filled me in(I had found this out on the school web page,but it was so great to see the entire school buy in and support).
first of all, i don't have students turn cards, move colors, write names on a board, or anything like that.
when feelings or something else intrinsic are hurt by rules being broken, that's a "you break it, you fix it" kind of rule. the children need to discuss it, make ammends and get back to work.
then there are things that warrent "take a break" such as disrupting other students during work time, etc. those students go to the take a break area, fill out a journal, and get back to work.
i've seen teachers give consequences for students who were quitely working in small groups, being productive, but maybe chatting about weekend plans. all i'm saying is that sometimes, what might be frustrating or irritating to a teacher may not be negatively effecting the student or class. rocking in chairs is my pet peeve. i used to move colors, cards, write names on the board, the whole 9 yards for that. what i found was that until the student fell out of the chair, they weren't making the connecting between rocking in their chair and moving their color. the rules we make for children are often to prevent them to finding out about the world on their own. my class this year will have very simple, child generated rules. the main thing when handing out consequences is that they be connected to what was done wrong, and the connection needs to make sense for the child.
Losing recess time is not logical for a child not completing homework. In fact, I think there are very few times when losing recess is a logical consequence. The child isn't "chosing to take recess time while others are doing homework." Perhaps the homework was hard, the child had no help, and so they couldn't complete it. Now you're punishing a child for having difficulty. That's not a connection I want to make in my students minds. Plus you're taking away time that students need, and without it that child may act out in class later because they didn't have that time.
I strongly suggest taking a look at the responsive classroom website. There's lots of information there on logical consequences, and understanding exactly what is causing the behavior in the first place. They publish a great book on rules and logical consequences also.
I applaud your efforts in the classroom and found myself nodding my head as I read your reply above. I couldn't agree with you more and thank you for trying to understand your students. Too often, teachers act as you indicated, out of frustration, and miss opportunities to teach kids about their actions and reactions. Keep it up and don't ever stop sharing your reasons; your comments were very helpful.
Could you elaborate on this "wall" idea. We are looking for alternatives to taking away recess time for next year. Is it like many of the other people where they have to walk the wall, like a minute for every infraction they have received? Thank you in advance.
You have the kids stand against the wall for so many minutes or whatever.
The problem is, someone has to play cop and stand near the wall to watch the charmers. Of course frequent fliers make this 1000x worse. They yell at each other. Act the fool. Worse yet flat out refuse to stay by the wall. So now what? Principal (who would do NOTHING)? I hated the wall as a playground aid. You can't supervise the other kids, as you have to watch various Biffs. Unless you have something in place for when the wall doesn't work, don't bother.
The wall works good for that kid, who once in a blue moon messes up. They are mortified. Biff or Buffy frequent flier, the wall turns into another turf battle.
At my school, I walk with the kids who have their recess dinged at lunch. They lose the recess, but we walk/talk the while on the track. I talk about everything under the sun. Weeds, birds, the dead frog we see....what is a sad these are usually the kids who can not handle unstructured play time. I really wish there was something supervised they could do, but I'm it.
My school doesn't pull recess unless it is a kid acting up during recess. If they act during lunch recess, the next recess they get me. For classroom infractions, no recess is pulled.
The kids I get are all the ADHD/impulse control issue/pick your mental health diagnosis. Pulling recess doesn't do squat, because next week, they'll do some other bone headed thing and wind up with me again.