Monday, June 29, 2015

Day 112- Making "Time Out Chairs" Into "Thinking Chairs"

Yesterday I was driving the car and I was self reflecting about my days at work and myself as a teacher. I particularly looked into "time outs" for children as a consequence to doing something out of place or unsafe, not following directions in the classroom. Working as an early childhood teacher we get a lot of preschool personalities anywhere from being carless to being stubborn and many times when teachers use the "time out" word the students will go into a kicking and screaming reaction because it feels like a punishment.
So while I was driving I came up with a way to make "time out" a productive time- more like a "time in". I decided to call it the "thinking chair" with the purpose for the student to sit and think about what they did, why they think they should not do it, and what better choice can they make next time.
Today I explained this to my students in circle time. I also explained that I will make sure they were thinking about it by asking for their answers and talking about it. So this gave them a purpose while sitting- to instead of kick and scream as a reaction to saying "Sit in time out" to "Go to the thinking chair and think about how you can make a better choice".
Today it is my first day that I tried this method and it went good for a first day. I realize this will have to be integrated within the classroom as it takes time to make a switch from the "time out chair" to the "thinking chair".
I never liked giving "time outs" as I did not see this to be having an effect on the children because they were not held responsible to think and understand why something is unsafe choice or that it is time to listen to a story or do a group activity. And as a result of not giving "time outs" I was starting to have a difficult time addressing the issues that may arise in the classroom because I saw that simply taking to the student did not work- they stopped for a little and then did the same thing again. I saw that for something to be effective it has to come from the child- so what better way to do that then to have them use their brains to think about their actions/how their actions can hurt others or themselves or can be disrespectful.
Of course having them reflect on themselves is only one side of the solution- the teachers have to sit and reflect as well- if the classroom rules are valid and educational.

I am excited about trying and testing this method with my students. I informed/shared with my other teacher about this method and she gladly picked up on it and agreed with my self reflection.

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