By observation. Watch and reflect after each class about whom you sent to TAB, how many times you used it, and why. Be sure you use TAB equitably-notice everything! If you have many students taking TAB at the same time, reflect on the environment and your teaching to see what needs of the students you’re not meeting, then adjust your instruction or include more activity to meet their needs

Tara Thukral, Dean of Students

If you go home exhausted and annoyed every day because of the small behaviors that wear you down, you need more TAB. If it’s common for more than three students to be in TAB at one time in your room, you are likely overusing TAB.

Scott Tyink, Origins Developmental Designs consultant

I know I am under-using TAB when the TAB seat is empty for long periods. The effectiveness of TAB comes from regular use for small infractions, and I’ve yet to spend time with a group of sixth-graders who are constantly on task! I feel things are going well when I am noticing enough of these small off-task behaviors to have everyone using TAB. When the students see it in use often and by everyone, they view it as a learning tool rather than a punishment. I don’t think I have ever felt like I am over-using TAB, but I am careful not to send the same student(s) to TAB at a rate far higher than their peers.

Eric Charlesworth, Paul Cuffee Charter School, Providence, Rhode Island,