Why should I do it?
- To provide students with a cool down time
- To allow students time away from a stressful or potentially stressful situation
- It can help avoid a power struggle between you and the student
When should I do it?
- When a student gets off task and is beginning to be disruptive but not problematic
- When student is beginning to be argumentative or confrontational
- When a student is refusing to follow a directive
How do I do it?
- Make a laminated card with the word “BREAK” on it
- Provide student with hand held timer setting the timer for no longer than five minutes
- Identify a safe and non-disruptive area to go (by or in office works)
- Student returns when timer goes off
- Thank the student for leaving and returning so cooperatively. Give encouragement to student upon return
- Explain the process to the student and have them practice it before implementation
- Either the student or teacher may initiate a break, though it is best when the students can identify the need for and take breaks appropriately
- If the students abuses the break card intervention, set limits on the frequency of use to deter this
- Breaks may be less formal and simply involve getting a snack
- Breaks may be as simple as a student moving to another spot in the classroom
- Breaks may include sending a student on an errand, taking a note or paper to another teacher or the office, or some other task that gets the student up and out for a short break