Sunday, April 29, 2012

Classroom Management Tool - Having a Bad Day? Go to Australia!

This idea goes along with the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and comes from one of my college professors.  In his room, he had a table reserved as "Australia".  If one of his students was having a bad day they could go work at the Australia table for a few minutes until they were feeling better.

I've never quite had room to make a whole Australia table, so I use little Australian flags.  I introduce the Alexander book on the first week of school and talk to my students about the flags.  If one of my kiddos is having a bad morning/recess/undisclosed mental emergency, they can go get an Australian flag and put it on their desk.  They may NOT give fiendish stares to another student who may be causing their Australia emergency, they may just put the flag on their desk, take a few deep breaths, and know that I'll give them a little leniency until they put the flag back.

This has always worked really well, although there have been a few times I've had some fiendish stare-ers who needed a reminder or two on appropriate flag usage.  These work especially well for shy students who might not want to talk about exactly what is bothering them immediately, or for students who need a second to process an eventful lunch recess.

If you're wondering -- Do any of your students want to live in Australia?  Do they want to be there every second of every school day?  The answer is: of course!  When a perma-flag situation arises we have a little chat and figure out what we can do to make life a little happier (for both of us!)  :)


  1. Love this idea! This would be great for my resource classroom. I am sure it would be great when a student needs just a chill time. Thanks for sharing

  2. LOL as someone who lives in Australia I found this amusing and slightly insulting. In our version of the book he wants to move to Timbucktoo. Anyway that doesn't answer your question - maybe a paper where they can write their thoughts and either throw them away or give them to someone.I personally encourage my students to move to one of several spare tables in my room.