In our class we promote pro-social behavior based on the Responsive Classroom philosophies. We spend a lot of time creating positive rules for our class, building community, and creating an environment where children can be successful. Most of the time things run very smoothly in our room. However, there can be times when an individual, or a group of individuals, struggles with self control and making the right choices at school. Sometimes redirection and reminders just aren't enough to help a child, or children, regain their self control. Sometimes kids just need a chance to Take-A-Break and get themselves under control.
In our class we have a specific chair where children can go to Take-A-Break. We introduced the Take-A-Break spot this week, our second week of school. We talk about why someone might need to Take-A-Break and then my assistant models for the children what it should look like when you sit in the Take-A-Break chair. We all practice calming breathing, which is something we do a lot in preschool. (Breath in your nose and blow it out your mouth!) We also introduce the children to Be Calm Bunny, who will sit on your lap and you can pet him when you Take-A-Break. (Be Calm Bunny comes from the Second Step Curriculum.)
The GOAL of the Take-A-Break chair is to help children build self control NOT to be a punishment. Often children who are upset about something during choice time will go sit in the Take-A-Break chair on their own to help themselves calm down. Bonus! The children are learning that they are responsible for their own behavior. Of course, when negative behaviors persist we have to get curious as teachers and investigate and try to get to the source of the issue. Take-A-Break is not meant to replace working on specific issues with specific children, but often in the case of many preschool children they just need practice with self control. The Take-A-Break chair helps them do just that.
Preschool is all about learning how to get along and be a part of a community. The Take-A-Break spot helps children learn these important skills.
We use a cue chart to help the children remember how to "Take-A-Break".
Take-A-Break - Free PDF cue chart you can print!
Read more about Take-A-Break on my www.2care2teach4kids.com website.