Do you permanently separate your challenging students from the rest of the class?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Mister Eric, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Mister Eric

    Mister Eric Rookie

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    Sep 8, 2013

    In a lot of classes I have subbed in, I have noticed that there is often one or two desks that are several feet away from the main cluster of students. As soon as those seats are occupied, I see why, but wonder if it was a good idea. Does taking a talkative/disrespectful/difficult child and banishing him to his own little part of the room really help?

    In classes where the kids have not been entirely separated I have seen that the teacher has still clustered them all either at the front or the back of the room. One teacher seemed to have stuffed all of the quiet/bright/attentive students at the back and all the loud/challenged/bored students at the front. You could literally see how the kids behavior changed as you progressed from the front of the room to the back.

    I am curious to see how you feel about this practice and if you believe it works or not. In many cases that I have seen, the kids who were stuffed off into their own little corner seemed to have just completely shut down, and why wouldn't they? They looked shocked when I would call on them to participate in class and would not even make an attempt to look busy during independent work. A lot of times the kids who had been separated would not even be troublesome during class time, they would just sit in their little private area doodling or staring off into space while their education just sailed right on by them.
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I don't think "permanently" is a good idea, but long-term might be necessary. I think it needs to be on an individual basis, after having a conversation with the student about why there are sitting elsewhere and setting a goal for what it will take to move back. After that, regular feedback on how the student is progressing towards that goal is necessary.

    Also, I once created an "office" for a student who just needed his own space. He wasn't banished to a corner, but he was separated from other students. We put duct tape on the floor around his desk so that he would be free to move around wherever he needed, so long as he stayed in his office. This worked well for him long-term, and it prevented him from distracting his peers as well.
     
  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 8, 2013

    I have 3 seats like this, away from everyone else, at the perimeter of the class. However, I don't have anyone permanently assigned there (except in one class, where every single seat is taken, including those).
    These seats are reserved for me to place students there for 1 class period if they're giving me problems, or maybe on a short term basis, but that would only be with 1-2 students total.

    I also let the students know that if they feel that they need to separate themselves from everywhere because they're having a bad day, they just need to let me know and they can sit there.
    This has proved to be very beneficial.

    My problems is that a lot of students would want to sit there, to be under the radar, which I don't allow.

    I think permanently seating students like that is like labeling them 'you're bad, you cannot be helped, so this is where you sit, because I'm done with you'. I think these seats should be like a little time-out (while still doing the work) to reflect and get themselves together so they can join the class the next time.
     
  5. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Last year I had one student who just could not control herself during independent work. She was constantly distracting others, talking to others, bothering others it was a huge problem. She had a one strike and you're "out" policy. If I had to talk to her once she move to sit by herself. She got to try again each period so if she was sent on her own at 9am it wasn't for the day, just until the next subject.

    Her grandmother wasn't thrilled with the policy, she said she'd never learn to sit with the others. I explained that she was completely capable of controlling herself and the consequence of having to move was more of the students around her who were constantly being bothered. Eventually, with positive reinforcement she was able to make lots of improvement and was able to control herself so that she didn't need to be removed from the group.

    I would never move a student permanently. If they needed to be moved I would come up with a behavior plan where the goal would be that eventually they could transition to being part of the group again.
     
  6. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Sep 8, 2013

    Sometimes I separate a child for an hour or two if they aren't getting anything done.

    This year I have a student that asked to be separate. His desk is now closer to my group table so I can keep a closer eye on him, and for group activities he can move his chair. During centers he often chooses to sit at an empty desk near the other kids in his group. Someone walking in might see his desk and assume he is separated as a punishment, but that is not the situation at all!
     
  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Sep 8, 2013

    I did this last year with a few of my peanuts. They needed it. If anyone was going to get anything done I had to separate them.
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Not permanently. I have for a few days in extreme cases where the student needed to prove he could sit without hurting others before he joined a table again. I've also had years where a student needed a quiet place to work and would often take independent work to a separate area, but it was just in that time, he would sit with the table for activities and discussions.
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Nothing is permanent when it comes to seating arrangements. I treat each day as a new day. I don't like to separate students from the class, but some students need this for an hour or maybe as long as a day in severe cases. Each day begins again and I let the child be a part of the class.

    I think it is unfair and sends the wrong message if it is done for an extended period of time.
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    OK, kind of scary as I just finished eating some peanuts. When you say peanuts, what do you mean?
     
  11. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    "peanut" is just a common endearment for little kids.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Sep 8, 2013

    Some of mine give me no other choice than to separate them from everybody else. They have proven over and over that they cannot function when mixed in with others.

    This year I had six kids who absolutely cannot sit anywhere near each other, so I put them far from one another and let the other kids fill in around them. One fella is an island unto himself. There is a one-seat buffer all around him. He loves it, and it saves the sanity of everyone in the room.
     
  13. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    :yeahthat:

    I call them 'peanuts'. I even say to them, "Well aren't you smart little peanuts." They think it's funny.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 8, 2013

    Permanently? No.

    I manage behaviors on the spot with minimal disruption to instruction. I believe all kids can learn to make better choices. A permanent decision is indicative of a fixed mindset about kids and their abilities to change. That's not me and it's not how I run my classroom.
     
  15. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    I don't separate kids from the rest of the class as a general rule because it sets them up for failure (my opinion). That said, I do move my kiddos around whenever needed. We have been in school 4 1/2 weeks and I have changed seats (some, not all) about 3 or 4 times since the first day of school. I think I've finally reached a happy place with seating for a while. I do have one student I will need to leave in the back row because he has an aide that sits with him and I don't want to draw undue attention to this fact, nor do I want to seat the adult aide in front of other students' view. My seating generally is done to keep students from getting into trouble for talking/socializing and help them pay attention- in other words, to be proactive in helping students succeed- not reactive in punishing their behavior.

    I use behavior cards and if a student earns FOUR cards his desk is moved away from the rest of the class for the rest of the day (it's back in its normal place the next morning) but that has only happened two or three times total in the last five years.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Too funny. :lol: I like it. Thanks I got my word of the day done. :)
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I've never permanently done this.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 9, 2013

    I change my seating plan (and desk arrangement) a lot during the year; no spot is ever permanent.
     
  19. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Yes, I have had kids that just could not would not ever ever ever be with the rest of the group. I routinely tested it out by moving them back for a few hours at a time and it just caused havoc. :dizzy:

    I have only had to do that once in eight years of teaching though.
     

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