We all have those experience:

We try to build up a classroom with a positive climate.

We build up relationships, in sitting with out students at the table as they do their work and joining in the children’s activity.

We try to build up positive emotions, so that every child can get excitedly the teacher’s attention and we as the teacher respond with enthusiasm.

We try to build up a culture of positive communication, by communication positively with the children about their sharing by clearly telling them they are doing a nice job.

We based our class activities on a respectful behaviour with using warm and calm voice, with using the children’s first names and with implementing an atmosphere that children share material with one another.

discuptive student

Yes and yes and yes we do all that, but still there are children we feel that we can’t connect, we feel that whatever we offer those children are general on another level, in another world, what ever we try to engage those children in the classroom it seems that they are still outside of the group or that they are permanently disturbing all activities and offers.

Its desperate. We start to develop already an aversion against those children and worse we start to not like this particular group, class and our days are starting with horrible feelings when we have to face those children. But we can’t recognise that in that moment the problems getting bigger and bigger like a spiral that pulls us all down.

Its time to stop that immediately and change in general your position and methodology. The is one brilliant methodology existing to build up a positive relationship with that explicit child and with that taking everyone out of that unpleasant spiral.

sand watch 2


Banking time planning basics:

You always work with one child at a time – typically for about 8 weeks. Each session will last about 10-15 minutes. Sessions will take place 2-3 times per week periodically and planned scheduled.

Which child should I choose:

The goal of Banking Time is to strengthen the teacher-child relationship. So…..                                                                       – choose a child with whom your relationship has been challenging or strained.                                                                      – choose a child who has a hard time managing his or her behaviour in the classroom.

Note: If you have multiple children who you’d like to choose, choose the most challenging first. Later, you can move on to the other children in your classroom.

Introduce Banking Time to the child:

After you choose a child, have a conversation with him or her. Explain that you are concerned about how you and the child are getting along. Emphasis that you want to get to know the child better. Tell children that the session is:

– going to happen on certain days and at certain times.                                                                                                                   – not based on the child’s behaviour (not a reward or punishment)                                                                                              – different from the normal classroom time because it will be just the two of you

Remember: Respect the child’s opinions & views while encouraging open communication about upcoming Banking Time sessions.

When will sessions happen: 

Keep the following in mind as you schedule Banking Time sessions:

– Banking Time sessions are 10-15 minutes and occur 2-3 times per week.

– Session times are regular, predictable and relatively free of distraction.

– Sessions are not during a child’s favourite activities (such as outside time). The child shouldn’t feel that they’re missing out on something to have a Banking Time session.

Where does Banking Time happen:

When scheduling Benking Time sessions, you’ll want to plan for the location as well. Possible locations for Banking Time include:

– a quiet hallway

– the library

– an available office

– a silence corner of the classroom

Banking Time activities and materials:

Wou’ll also want to plan your activities & materials. Banking Time activities & materials are:

– age-appropriate, suitable for the specific child and encourage exploration

– high-interest, open-ended activities without stereotypes

– possibly in a bin or box of toys different from those used day-to-day in the classroom

– used in any way the child chooses (with safe limits)

Activities & materials recommendation:

recommended:thumbs up                                                               

– pretend play (with dollhouse, figurines, in the dramatic play centre etc.)

– playing with blocks or legos board or card games based greatly on chance (e.g. candy land, chutes and ladders, go fish)

– activities that allow for you and the child to play together in a joint activity

– creative art activities that include painting, gluing, cutting etc.                                                                              

not recommended:thumbs down

– reading a book to a child

– activities and games that focus greatly on skill (this will depend on the individual child)

– activities that tend to require teacher guidance (this will depend on the individual child)

– computer games

– activities designed for  solitary play

Notes about child behaviour:

There are a couple things to keep in mind about child behaviour during Banking Time. Behavioural standards may be different during Banking Time. Banking Time sessions are not contingent upon the child’s behaviour. Sessions should be scheduled in advance & carried out regardless of the child’s behaviour. Sessions are not used as a reward for good behaviour or taken away as a punishment for bad behaviour.

What to do about child misbehaviour:    



– continue Banking Time

– Ignore mild inappropriate behaviour that is not disruptive during the session

– discuss the situation with the child afterwards if necessary                                                                              

– conduct the next Banking Time session as planned

redDo Not:

– end the session and discipline the child immediately

– ignore the inappropriate behaviour that is disruptive or aggressive

Transitioning from Banking Time:

Sometimes the child has difficulties transitioning into regular activities after Banking Time. It’s important to remember this when planing as well. You can help smooth the transition at the end of Banking Time by:

– giving warnings as the end of the session approaches

– using a timer or clock

– scheduling sessions right before the child’s favourite activity

– using some sort of special time chart to count how many Banking Time sessions you have completed.

Banking Time Techniques:

Banking Time is always decided in three main methodology tools.

1. Observing

2. Narrating

3. Labelling

If you follow this three tools also in the above designed order, you will be successful in building up a positive relationship during Banking Time sessions, which will pay out later in the classroom to everyone, you, the child and the classmates.

1. Observing: Observing means that you are carefully watching and taking mental notes of the child’s behaviour, words and feelings, as well as your own thoughts and feelings during each Banking Time sessions. Be patient and take the observation time serious. Don’t be afraid of the silence, just let the child guide the activity and lean back and observe actively.

2. Narrating: The observation is the basic of the next step the Narrating. Similar to observing, narrating does not include any teaching, directing, questioning or even positive reinforcement. There are three important tools that will help you when you are narrating:

a. reflection

b. imitation

c. sportscaster technique

a.narrating-refelction: Reflection is when you listen to the child and repeat them back in a slightly different way. For example, if the child said, “play-dough is my favourite”, you might say, “you really like play-dough.”

b. narrating-imitation: Imitation is a non-verbal narrating tool. When you imitate, you watch the child carefully and follow his or her lead. So if the child is starts stacking blocks, you start stacking blocks too.

c. narrating- sportscaster technique: Finally, the sportscaster technique is when you carefully watch the child and describe the actions you see, without any judgement. So if the child is organising counting bears by colour, you might say, “I see that you are putting all of the blue bears together and now you are putting all the green ones together.”

3. Labelling: Finally, the technique of labelling is when you communicate out loud what you notice about a child’s feelings and emotions. Labelling should be handled very carefully and considered. If you are labelling wrong it could cause disastrous consequences for your relationship between the child and you and in the end for the whole success of the Banking Time. So consider carefully and consider very deeply before labelling the child. Take your time before you are labelling and never label if you yourself are in an unstable and unsafe feeling yourself. A label is very difficult to change again, but if you are labelling carefully considered you will be very successful with your Banking Time.

Before you are starting to execute Banking Time with a chosen child, prepare yourself with a Banking Time sheet:

1. which child will you work with first for Banking Time? Why did you choose this child?

2. When and how will you communicate with this child about Banking Time and explain what you will be doing?

3. When will you be able to conduct your regular Banking Time sessions with this child? Which days of the week? What time of day?

4. Where will you do the Banking Time?

5. What is your plan to minimize potential distraction and allowyourself to focus on this child during the session?

6. What activities and materials will you have available for your Banking Time sessions?

7. What is your biggest concern about the beginning to implement Banking Time?

8. What are you most excited about as you get started with Banking Time?

And now good luck for a new start for a more positive climate in your classroom.


See also the following teaching methodology description: #89 Banking Time

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