What is it?
Sit and watch is a teaching strategy to assist students to learn a desired behaviour through observation. It involves the student watching someone use the appropriate behaviour following a situation when the student was not able to demonstrate the desired behaviour or skill successfully. The student is removed from the activity, informed why they were removed and the desired behaviour is clearly described. This is also paired with the student watching the appropriate behaviour being demonstrated by another peer or adult.
How do I use it?
Prior to using this technique
- Class rules are taught. See the Active teaching of rules factsheet.
- Students are taught the purpose of 'sit and watch'. This could be done as a class activity when teaching the rules. Some students demonstrate the class rule while other students demonstrate 'sit and watch'. A 'sit and watch' carpet square may be used for younger children.
When an inappropriate behaviour is displayed during turn-taking
- Tell the student it is time for "sit and watch".
- Remove the student from the activity.
- Tell the student what they did, and remind them of the appropriate behaviour e.g. 'You took the remote out of Tasha's hands. What is the class rule Ask for a turn. Let's sit and watch this happening.
- Direct the student to an area where he/she can observe the desired behaviour being demonstrated by peers.
- As peers demonstrate the behaviour, describe what is happening. 'Look at how R. asked K for a turn'.
- Ask the student if he/she is ready to ask for a turn.
- The student either returns to the group and demonstrates the behaviour or if not ready continues to 'sit and watch' for a short period e.g. two minutes.
- When the student returns to the group and demonstrates the behaviour, provide Behaviour specific praise .e.g. 'You followed the class rules, you asked for your turn.'
This strategy can be used with:
Where can I learn more?