Circle Back on Take a Break

Teachers share their take a break spots

Think of it as a rendezvous for redirection

Just a few feet away.
Just a few moments.
Just until they have it together again.

Take a break (TAB) gives students a place to go when they need to get back on track. TAB is a nudge, a gentle correction for a small misstep. It's NOT a final resort or punishment.   

TAB should be used regularly
as a normal part of class
when students need to:

- Refocus
- Clear their heads
- Calm down to problem solve

Photos above and below shared by Shelly Drake, 5th-6th grade educator,
Woodland Elementary School, Brooklyn Park, MN

TAB with stars

Who goes there?

When students see everyone using TAB regularly - even you, the teacher - they view TAB as a tool to refocus rather than as a punishment.

How do they get there?


Using a calm voice, redirect a student with a simple reminder, such as, "John, take a break."

Self direction

Eventually, the goal is for students to recognize when they lose focus and independently go to the TAB spot.

TAB Plain Chair

Make it sumptuous or simple

Name it:

- The Bahamas
- The Chillaxation Station
- The Fire Escape

Take a Break Spanish


Photo shared by Maria Arago,
6th grade Spanish Immersion educator,
St. Louis Park Middle School, St. Louis Park, MN

Decorate it:

- Collages or posters
- Ideas on how to relax, such take a breath, count to ten, and reflect
- An aquarium

Share it:

Snap a shot of the TAB spot in your classroom and
post it on theDevelopmental Designs Facebook page

(no photos of students, please).
Or e-mail your photo to

Read more TAB suggestions
from fellow educators:TAB girl in chair

Part 1, Part 2.









Photo shared by Crosswinds School, Woodbury, MN