Hyperactive Student

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by otterpop, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2017

    I have a student this year who can't sit quietly or sit still at all.

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    Does anyone have suggestions for helping this child regulate his own behavior? I want him to do well, and I want to give his classmates a quiet classroom to learn in.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017 at 9:39 AM
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  3. anna337

    anna337 New Member

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    Oct 11, 2017

    Honestly, I had similar situations with my student. He didn't make me mad, I am too calm for that but really tried. We have encouraging system with stickers, so I didn't give him sticker because of behavior and explain my decision. During movement games i asked him to rule the class as a leader. If he answers instead of his teammate i don't count the answer etc.
     
  4. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Oct 12, 2017

    Each student is special in her/his own way, and this youngster is also quite special. The major problem seems to be that his unique learning style interferes with everyone else's learning style and somehow a compromise needs to be found. I'm assuming he's been diagnosed ADHD? If so, personally I'd not try to encourage medication, but then again, if a doctor prescribed it, I'd not try to discourage it. I get the feeling that sudden medication might create more problems than it will solve educationally for this student, though it will probably resolve many of the distractions. He seems to be a kinesthetic learner. I'm also suspicious that he is eager to please the teacher.

    Possibly, the reason he calms down after a major threat is that many ADHD people experience a calmness in danger or excitement. I get the feeling he needs to orally respond during lessons; I once had a 3rd or 4th grade student who'd whisper everything I'd say in class. I'm wondering if a common trick ADHD kids use might help him. I had a 3rd grader who learned, on his own, that if he sat cross legged, he would calm down. Some kids curl their toes to calm down; (I tried that out of curiosity and found it quite uncomfortable, but I've heard it works for some kids). The explanation I heard at a workshop is that the tension from curling or crossing activates the brain regions to calm the student.

    The island is a great idea, often it's necessary, but I'm wondering if he needs the social aspect of sitting with the students to help him regulate his behaviors. Sometimes discussing the situation can help the student develop a compromise, a regulation of his kinesthetic needs that is still socially acceptable. I had a 3rd grader who couldn't sit for more than a few minutes, and it was easily solved by allowing her to stand when she tired of sitting; she sat in the back row, so it didn't cause any problems with the other students (who also knew they were allowed to stand, although they preferred to stay seated).

    Often when it seems to me that the student can do the work when he tries, that's a strong indicator that the student is eager to do a good job, but something out of his/her current ability to manage is blocking that achievement. Diabetes Forecast offered a good way of thinking about this, too. A few months ago, it suggested (for diabetes) not viewing it as controlling diabetes but managing diabetes. The diabetes is always going to be there, but I'm always there too, and I can manage it. Well, the same holds true for classroom behaviors. The student might not be able to control certain aspects of his/her brain, but s/he can always learn to manage her/his brain.

    Sorry for the long post, but I just thought of 2 more quick suggestions. Sometimes an active period, especially recess, prior to a quiet period helps, especially with ADHD. Another idea, if possible, is to incorporate brain breaks within the day. I usually allowed some free moving around and chatting in between subjects while I got ready for the next subject, or often I'd join in on a conversation. This student's brain will automatically use this time to reconfigure for the next sitting still time.
     
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Oct 12, 2017

    Sorry--accidentally double posted.
     
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Oct 12, 2017

    I'm currently dealing with one such kid and am following this thread. My kiddo's biggest problem is impulsivity concerning his classmates. He says whatever pops into his head, kind or not, and therefore cannot sit with most of the class becauss they can't stand being insulted. I have three students with sensory processing issues, and this kiddo is so... loud. One refuses to be on the same side of the room with him because of the volume voice issue and the insults.
     
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 13, 2017

    Update... I let this student track the number of times he raised his hand today. He colored in a star on a small slip of paper each time he raised his hand to wait to speak. I think it was very successful as it let him focus on something positive. He was happy and felt good about himself at the end of the day.
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 13, 2017

    Your post had a lot of good ideas - thank you.

    I let the student try sitting next to someone earlier this week, and he was very excited, but within five minutes he had to be moved back to by himself. Today he asked if he could try it again and he did well. It helped that he knew he would be moved right back to his "island" if he had any issues.
     
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  9. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Oct 14, 2017

    Hyperactive kids are often impulsive and don't mean what they say, especially at this young age. I've noticed in my teaching that when kids start shunning a student, the origin is more from adults (usually the parents) than the students, and it is quite difficult to diffuse such a snowballing situation. It's difficult for the teacher to deal with this, time wise, too. One possible suggestion that can even be integrated into a class lesson would be for the class to discuss (without referring to the one student, of course) various kind words that can be used during the day. These words can be listed on a chart. The students and teacher will then be on the lookout to hear those kind words. Another idea, (as I recall, you teach 2nd grade), is a game where the students walk randomly around the room and chant, "I notice your smile, I notice your ring, I can notice most anything;" (or any such chant will do, of course, that's just the one I remember from a workshop). When the students stop, whomever they are closest to becomes their partner. Each student then, in their most polite voice, says, "I like your ____." The other says, "Thank you." I recently read a unique solution, where the teacher assigns two students to a specific task, especially one that involves much cooperation together, such as creating a bulletin board, a study buddy (that's my favorite), or testing out a new classroom toy, etc. Sometimes it helps to choose a student of whom other students in the class tend to follow his/her lead. The ultimate goal is for the students, on their own, in their own kid-way of socializing, to eventually not hold grudges when the student is antisocially impulsive but through interaction, he eventually learns to adapt to more positive behavior. Another idea is, I think it used to be called biblio-therapy? Anyway, a read-aloud that includes examples of friendship and good social behavior might be helpful. Quick ideas I'm thinking of for 2nd grade are possibly Otis Spofford by Beverly Cleary, Thy Friend Obadiah (no relation :) ), by Brinton Turkle; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Winnie-the-Pooh, or Pippi Longstocking. Also, the older movie Misty of Chincoteague has a brief but excellent example of two kids solving a grudge.
     
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  10. Been There

    Been There Rookie

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    Oct 15, 2017

    I don't think it's important whether or not you "like" the student. What's more important is that you become aware of the interpersonal dynamics between you and the student. This student is obviously aware of your aversion to dispensing negative consequences (e.g. taking away recess) and seems to be exploiting this weakness. The fact that the young man can behave himself when you threaten to call his parents or deprive him of recess tells me that he actually has very good "regulation skills" - he just chooses when to use them!

    I'm always amazed that teachers have the patience to try so many different approaches to deal with disruptive students, disabled or not. I once had an autistic 2nd grader who showed all the common characteristics of one who is on the spectrum: screaming for no apparent reason, getting out of her seat every 2 minutes to run around the room with arms flailing and yelling, fluttering fingers in front of her eyes, avoiding eye contact, staring into space instead of focusing on the work on her desk. etc. This student spent most the the time under the table in her classroom. When I was assigned to work with her mid-year, I used a multi-sensory literacy program that I developed on my laptop. The student was so engrossed in the lessons that her autistic behaviors miraculously disappeared and believe it or not I didn't even have to establish a "relationship" with the child!
     
  11. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Oct 15, 2017

    You bring up a valid point, and I have seen students, for whatever reason, try to manipulate circumstances to their advantage, but if I might add a thought to this, often what appears to adults as a child being capable because s/he responds to a certain stimulus does not always mean that the child is capable under all stimuli. This does not just include proper social or classroom behavior, but includes academic achievement as well. Concerning hyperactive students, their brain processes stimuli differently than non-hyperactive students. Not that I think this particular student necessarily needs or doesn't need medication, but that is why medication changes the processing of dopamine and makes it easier for a hyperactive student to learn such new behavioral skills.
     

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