Participating vs. Observing – Time Outs

One time I sent a student out of the room for use of English and she came back with some chips and a drink after a nice long walk around the building. That’s not what I meant to have happen. So, when I give students time outs for English now, I keep them in the room.
Now, students who speak English are invited to observe, but not participate, in the class. They have been denied the right to participate because of their (even once) speaking English in a way that is not helpful to the class.
I just tell the students to go to the back of the room, where they must stand and observe for ten minutes, at which time they are allowed to return to the class when they can again participate in the class. It’s like a time out for them.
So far it’s working. I’ll need a bit of time to see if it is a good solid move for discipline, but my feeling is that it is going to work. I think the key is in their being made to stand at the back of the room and be quiet and continue to make eye contact with me as usual, and not sit or lie down.



3 thoughts on “Participating vs. Observing – Time Outs”

  1. After my first week of CI-TPRS post-Maine, I am exhausted like Dirk (GDV–Grazie a Dio e’ venerdi’!), but recharged at the same time! Everyone in Maine was amazing and I learned SO MUCH. I came back to my classroom like a discipline machine, rearranged the seats, put up signs, pulled down others, went over some rules. I was a TPRS Tasmanian Devil! On Friday, I did have to separate 2 from the group as you suggested Ben. I’ve always thought sending a kid out was like a free pass to relax-ville. But we were having fun and I knew these kids didn’t want to miss a second. They went to the outer ring where no one sits and were silent for 5 minutes, all the while dying to get back in on the action. Success!
    I don’t have these super huge classes like others who are posting–my largest is 20, which is fine, but my smallest are 8 (!) and 10. There’s definitely a difference in energy and flow, but it’s working. If you all hadn’t mentioned that a small class is tough,I wouldn’t have realized it. I just make it all work because I believe it can. I have so much confidence that there’s no chink in my armor for them to think it will all fall apart, or worse, that they can make it fall apart. If there’s a moment where the story/method/CI is teetering, I ask them what we’re doing on this dead-end street and I literally put the story in reverse–I grab my imaginary gearstick, put it in reverse, make my peel out sound and away we go in another direction, away from the dead end. Needless to say, we crack up a lot and I need to remember to wear waterproof mascara! Ha!
    I still haven’t tried to get my Smartboard in on the action as we talkd about at the workshop. That can be next week’s project. If anyone else uses their Smartboard to write new vocab during stories, etc, can you post how it works for you?
    Thanks for this blog, Ben…it’s a Nexus of Great Minds! I’d be lost without it!

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