Student Contributor: M. Guthrie
Inspired by the book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, Australia is a get away corner for students who seem to be having a rough day. This tool helps students regroup to be able to focus again.
Everyone has bad days or times throughout the day where they need a break and time to recuperate to get back on track. Australia is just that for students in the classroom. The name comes from book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The little boy could never seem to catch a break, everything seemed to go wrong so he wanted so badly to go to Australia to relax and forget about his horrible day. In the classroom, this is a corner where students can choose to go to, some kids may need it but others may not. They will be able to play with fidget tools to release stress, look through iSpy books, hold stuffed animals, or try to solve different puzzles. Having a 5-minute sand timer in the corner will be helpful as well, once students come to the corner they start the timer and as soon as the sand runs out it’s time for them to come back with the class. It is also important to only allow one student at a time; this corner is simply for them to release stress or calm down when they’ve been having a hard day.
This tool is categorized in the supportive phase as it happens during learning. Australia supports students learning by helping them get focused again even throughout bad days. I believe this could also be a part of the preventative phase because sometimes when students are having a rough time and need a break from learning they distract other students and the teacher. This prevents distractions or outbursts. Instead of a student acting out they can go to this corner to release stress or anger. This could also be connected to the corrective phase since it can be seen as correcting student behavior from stress to relaxed. Australia is student-directed and collaborative. Students choose when to go to this corner but the teacher chooses what objects go in this and how much time a student can be in Australia. I believe the rules and procedures of this get away corner can be made with both the students and the teacher together which makes it collaborative.
More Information –
Tool Source: Gus Nollmeyer & the book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst