Quiet Time=Action Time


#sol19-April 9, 2019

As the students dribble in after lunch recess an aura of peace and calm follows them. Without any discussion, they pull out what they need- and find where they want to be. Time passes too quickly and when after 15 minutes I called them back together the groan was audible.

I have discovered a little time of wonder each school day. Last year, my friend attended a Responsive Classroom workshop. Although I have used many of the ideas from Responsive Classroom for years I have never been trained, so I was eager to hear her takeaways. “I am starting Quiet Time,” she said and then she explained it. Turns out it was just what the class needed.

This year I introduced Quiet Time right at the start of the year and it has been a time the students count on.

Today looked like this:

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When I looked at it like this what I saw was action. Action is one of those educational words that has taken on new meaning. My school discusses it here. Today I saw choice and independence. Usually, electronics are not allowed, but as students are blogging, exceptions are made. Some students were writing or posting their slices (it is the slice of life challenge for students and it is optional in our class, so they have to find their own time to do this- some write during Quiet Time, others write at home and post then). Some were writing comics with a friend, finishing work, or reading. Others were creating games. Some doodling was definitely going on.

They were all fully immersed in whatever they chose and it is in these moments that I marvel at how far they have come. Earlier in the year, they had to build up their stamina to work independently for the full time and I spent a lot of time reminding students about the “quiet” part. We created a chart for Quiet Time activities (never consulted anymore- they all have too many ideas) and sometimes had to cut it short when it got too loud.

While it can sometimes feel like I do not have time for this I have found that the transition time means the rest of the afternoon is so much more productive.

We are preparing for student led conferences and I know that as students sift through their work and consider what they want to share, Quiet Time will play an active part. I know how important it is for students to have choice and this is by now a non-negotiable.



A former student slicing too.

5 thoughts on “Quiet Time=Action Time

  1. dianeandlynne

    Isn’t it amazing how students use time wisely when given choice. I love that you have provided this time and space for them.

  2. Stacey Shubitz

    Responsive Classroom transformed me as an educator. If you can’t get to a training, then read some of their books. Each one of them is truly amazing.

    You always impress me with what you do with your kids, Erika. What a lucky bunch of students you have since you honor them as whole people!

  3. deborahdillon

    This is a wonderful idea. I usually start with a quick guided meditation after lunch, but I would like to intersperse it with 10 minutes of quiet time. Thank you for the idea!

  4. cmargocs

    This piece is so calm and reassuring! Another example of an educational tool that, to an outsider, may look like wasted time in the classroom, but one you’ve come to know as essential to help kids be productive and engaged. It’s not always teach, teach, teach aloud in the classroom!


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