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Time Out (Structured Time Out)

Time Out (Structured Time Out)

Why should I do it:

  • Quick and easy way to deal with behavior problems and disruptions
  • Time outs are an effective method to address behaviors
  • Increases instructional time and decreases time spent dealing with student behaviors
  • Increases structure for student
  • Provides student with a consistent and predictable consequence that is structured and always the same procedure
  • Easy to set up and implement
  • Can be carried over in the home

When should I do it:

  • When a student exhibits frequent behavior problems and disruptions
  • When a student does not respond to other consequences
  • When a consequence needs to be consistent between the school and home
  • When card flips alone do not seem adequate to address the student’s behaviors
  • When a student has a hard time calming down or settling in a timely manner
  • When a student likes the negative attention they receive from card flips or other disciplinary measures that occur in front of the class

How do I do it:

  • In-Class Time Out:
    • Choose a specific spot in the classroom and always use that same spot
    • Put a chair or desk in the spot
    • Provide some kind of timer or way to measure the time in time out
    • Have the student practice taking a time out before implementing the strategy
    • Provide rules for taking a time out, like no talking, bothering others, standing, making noises, what happens if they cannot appropriately complete a time out, etc
    • Explain to the student what they will receive a time out for
    • You may have students complete a think sheet while in time out, require them to sit quietly, put their head down, etc
    • Consider using a testing corral to minimize distractions and disruptions
    • Keep a log of timeouts for data tracking and analysis
  • Out Of Class Time Out:
    • Choose a specific spot outside of the classroom and always use that same spot, for example, a seat in the office or near the classroom doorway
    • Put a chair or desk in the spot
    • Provide some kind of timer or way to measure the time in time out
    • Have the student practice taking a time out before implementing the strategy
    • Provide rules for taking a time out, like no talking, bothering others, standing, making noises, what happens if they cannot appropriately complete a time out, etc
    • Explain to the student what they will receive a time out for
    • You may have students complete a think sheet while in time out, require them to sit quietly, put their head down, etc
    • Consider using a testing corral to minimize distractions and disruptions
    • Keep a log of timeouts for data tracking and analysis
  • In-class and out of class time outs may be utilized as a progressive discipline system, where the student first receives an in-class time out for a brief period, then on the next offense, they receive a longer out of class time out

Resources & Support for technique:
(Items with footnotes link to external websites)


Footnotes:

  1. Wayne RESA Guidelines for Behavior Assessment, Wayne RESA Time Out Log – APPENDIX: FORMS. (2008)., pg. 19. Time Out Log. [http://www.resa.net/downloads/positive_behavior/time_out.doc].
  2. Michigan Department of Education, School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports., (2010). Sample Classroom/Teacher Interventions. [http://www.resa.net/downloads/positive_behavior/pbs_implementation_guide_20100708_151206_38.pdf].
  3. Zolten, K., Long, N. (1997)., Center for Effective Parenting. TIME-OUT AS A DISCIPLINE TECHNIQUE. [http://www.parenting-ed.org/handouts/timeout.pdf].
  4. Jelley, K. L., Moore, S. M., Ohio State University Extension embraces human diversity., (2007). Time Out and Other Discipline Tools That Work. [http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/pdf/Time_Out_Discipline_Tools.pdf].
  5. Nelsen, J. Positive Time Out: An excerpt from the book Positive Time Out by Jane Nelsen. [http://www.positivediscipline.com/articles_teacher/PositiveTimeOut.html].
  6. Written or compiled by Wilson, J. Using Timeouts to Discipline Your Child without Destroying Self-Esteem. [http://www.cyberparent.com/timeout/].
  7. PoPs Ministries. Time Out in the School Setting (Antecedent Interventions): Classroom Interventions for Children with Attention Deficit Disorder. [http://popsmin.tripod.com/timeout.html].