Time-Out: Early, Often, and for Everyone

At least once a year, one colleague or another comes to me and says, “Gina, something is not right. Can you observe my class and see if you can figure out what’s going on?” When I observe the class, I might see the teacher tell the same student three times to listen during read-aloud time. Or maybe, students keep talking during Morning Meeting even after being reminded to pay attention, and the teacher has to stop the activity to go over Morning Meeting rules. The answer becomes clear to me—and when I tell the teacher she is not using time-out consistently enough when students need a break, it becomes clear to her, too. She knows time-out is important, but as the year goes on, it becomes harder to maintain the habit of using it.
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Time-Out & Teaching Self-Regulation

As a classroom teacher I looked forward every year to teaching students all kinds of academic concepts and skills that would enable them to be engaged and successful in their learning. Organizing…
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Teaching Self-Calming Skills

"You need to calm down." This is something I hear a lot in my work as a behavior specialist when a student starts to get agitated—answering rudely, refusing to work, making insulting…
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Time-Out: Avoiding the Punishment Trap

May 2002Question:I have a dilemma about time-out. I tell my students that time-out is not a punishment, but I know it can feel like punishment when I send them to time-out for…
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Introducing Time-Out to Older Students

A few weeks ago, on the RC discussion board on Facebook, Aimee Casale asked for suggestions for introducing Take a Break (also called Positive Time-Out) to students in the upper elementary grades.…
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What is Responsive Classroom Time-Out?

When used calmly, consistently, and respectfully, Responsive Classroom time-out can be a valuable strategy for helping students develop self-control while keeping the classroom calm, safe, and orderly.Santiago is at the interactive whiteboard,…
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A Quiet Place for Rough Moments

Alison, a young five-year-old I taught recently, struggled with separation anxiety at the beginning of the year. She had a hard time saying goodbye to her dad when he dropped her off…
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Refusing to Go to Time-Out

April 2002Question:I’ve had pretty good success using time-out with most children. I have children go to time-out to regain their self-control as they start to lose it. But what about the child…
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