Friday, January 02, 2009

When Kids Like Time Out

A colleague emailed me this Q&A that I definitely need to manage the behavior of some of my students in my class:

QUESTION: Hi there, was wondering what we can do for a student that likes time-out? He is 3.5, he does whatever he wants. He never follows directions. He hits, he spits, he screams, and makes crow noises. When we put him in time-out he laughs. Sometimes he puts himself there. Please help!

ANSWER: If this student likes time-out, then it's not an effective approach to use with him. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a big fan of using time-outs because it doesn't teach him a new positivebehavior.

Instead, you should start focusing on what you DO want this student to do. For example, you can use a behavior chart that says, "Follow directions" at the top of it. Whenever he follows directions, you can give him positive verbal praise and let him mark his chart.

When he fills the chart, he'll get to earn a reward that he has agreed upon before you start using the chart. But here's something very important...

You said that he NEVER follows directions.

I find this very hard to believe so I'm going to challenge you to find at least 5 times that he follows directions the next time he's in class with you. You may have to pay VERY close attention to find these things...

But I guarantee that it will be worth it.
Does he put his backpack in his cubby?
Does he throw garbage in the garbage can?
Does he put his name on the top of his paper?

Look for ANY LITTLE THING that he does that you like. If you want this student to start having more success, YOU as the teacher need to start believing in him more. You need to believe that he's good and can find success in your classroom. That's your job as his teacher.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great advice. It's tough when you have a kid (or two) like that in your class.
Focussing on the positive is a wonderful alternative. The other approaches always fail don't they!?
Great Blog,

Promethean Planet


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