The limits of the fidget...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,918
    Likes Received:
    1,315

    Dec 12, 2017

    Yesterday, a student of mine who has been incapable of holding himself still since returning from Thanksgiving Break wound up in the principal's office trying to come up with a fidget idea after throwing at the wall and other students several other items (not being mean, just trying to release energy).

    Today, he returned with a doodle book. During the counselor's lesson, he managed to scribble an entire page pencil grey.

    o_O

    Poor doodle book doesn't know what it's in for.
     
    AmyMyNamey and Obadiah like this.
  2.  
  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,519
    Likes Received:
    678

    Dec 12, 2017

    I had a student with extreme ADHD who was physically unable to sit still without his medicine, so I asked him what he liked to do and discovered that he likes making origami figures. Thus, I suggested that he make paper artwork when he fidgets and, thereafter, he was able to focus. And he made the most beautiful figures!
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
    Peregrin5, Obadiah and Backroads like this.
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,055
    Likes Received:
    534

    Dec 12, 2017

    Almost every student living with ADHD that I have taught has liked origami. I pick up origami books whenever I find them at garage sales and thrift stores because they always go to good use.
     
  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,519
    Likes Received:
    678

    Dec 12, 2017

    This is a great idea! I’m going to buy some, haha! They’ll love it. :D
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    7,589
    Likes Received:
    1,844

    Dec 12, 2017

    There's good and bad news about fidgets. First, and this is no surprise, they are the toy of choice, and definitely NOT limited to students with ADHD. That's bad news for all teachers. Second, they are far from indestructible, and coveted by students who don't have them. The bad news for the fidgets is that they often end up in pieces and with new owners. Finally, once in pieces, and seemingly "destroyed", those students with ADHD often end up with fidget pieces, which seem to work just as well, if not better, than the bright shiny fidget that was originally purchased. Apparently, broken fidgets actually can serve the purported purpose as well or better than new functioning fidgets, and as "broken toys", they finally find their way to a home were they actually serve a purpose - quietly. That's good news for everyone. Now if we could just acquire the broken fidgets directly without having to go through the other steps, they would never be flashy toys that are coveted by all, and they would actually serve a purpose for students who gain benefit from the broken versions. My observation is that ADHD students can spend tons of time trying to figure out how to either fix the fidget, or, figure out how the fidget worked, or, trying to re-imagine the broken fidget into a different device. Who knew??? ;)
     
    Backroads likes this.
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,519
    Likes Received:
    678

    Dec 12, 2017

    Very interesting! Goes back to the age-old adage, “Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” :D
     
  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    7,589
    Likes Received:
    1,844

    Dec 12, 2017

    Those with ADHD need to be intrigued or challenged to increase focus. Lots of bustedf things work quite well for these students.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
    Backroads and Obadiah like this.
  9. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,220
    Likes Received:
    689

    Dec 13, 2017

    I have ADD and I still fidget. I'll catch myself, sitting in a meeting, rubbing my hand on various parts of the chair; even when I'm reading I'll catch my hand moving around. I'm constantly moving the position of my feet, too. So I figure if I need to fidget, how much more do some of my students. (Side note: I once read that fidgeting assists with weight loss).

    The connection between origami and ADHD struck a lightning bolt in my head. I don't know if there's any research on this, but I recalled how ADHD people often sense a kind of order in what others perceive as messy; for example, in a messy desk, the student knows exactly where everything is. I wonder if the ADHD brain senses an orderly fashion from a seemingly plain sheet of paper, which is a kind of randomness prior to the specific folds and creases in origami. While writing this, I made a connection to music improvisation (such as in jazz), not that all such musicians are ADHD, but I know I perceive the original song as an outline and develop it from there, sensing the completed interpretation in my mind. Note to self: next item to research.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
    futuremathsprof and Backroads like this.
  10. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,918
    Likes Received:
    1,315

    Dec 13, 2017

    This particular student did have an origami book for awhile! I wonder what happened to it...
     
    futuremathsprof and Obadiah like this.
  11. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,055
    Likes Received:
    534

    Dec 13, 2017

    That’s why I buy them second hand - I don’t usually get them back
     
    Backroads likes this.
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    7,589
    Likes Received:
    1,844

    Dec 14, 2017

    Backroads, perhaps the origami book went the way of the doodle book . . . what a shame for the defenseless coping mechanism.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,780
    Likes Received:
    996

    Dec 14, 2017

    The origami thing struck me as interesting too. I also had/have ADHD, and I remember loving origami as a kid, and did very tiny and intricate things with it. What's interesting is that it requires a lot of focus and attention to detail to do origami which is not something that people generally associate with ADHD, but it is actually a trait that it's not an inability to focus, just an inability to focus on the things others want them to focus on.

    Directing their attention to a particular task that they find engrossing is probably what the key is with keeping ADHD students from jumping off the walls or bothering others. I think some students do this with detailed and intricate artwork like the tiny spirals I've been seeing some girls draw more and more often lately, or other sketches and art.
     
    Backroads and Obadiah like this.
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    7,589
    Likes Received:
    1,844

    Dec 14, 2017

    You know, I think it is what you are talking about Pergrin5 that makes these students interested in the broken fidgets. Try to fix them, or create something out of a box of parts keeps them occupied the whole period, and they are happy when they leave, more relaxed.
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,918
    Likes Received:
    1,315

    Dec 14, 2017

    He was sitting by me with his doodle book, doodling various doodles, and eventually complained he ran out of ideas. That's when the mindless doodling started to turn the whole page solid.

    It's preferable to him throwing things. I had given him a few classic fidgets to keep in his hands or under the table... but he likes to throw things.
     
  16. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,220
    Likes Received:
    689

    Jan 21, 2018

    I found an interesting passage in chapter 5, Programmable Matter, pages 105-111, in the book Soonish concerning new practical uses for origami such as origami robots. MIT's Dr. Daniela Rus and team developed a pill that once swallowed folds into a robot that basically does things inside a patient without surgical incision. In the example in the book, the robot rescues a (virtual) child who has swallowed a battery. What young children play with now, such as origami, can lead to amazing understanding and accomplishments in their future. With encouragement, what might our young ADHD kids accomplish in their future?

    Weinersmith, Kelly and Zach. Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything. N.Y.: Penguin Press, 2017. (Caution: Teachers might want to preview the book before recommending to students; some of the humor is PG).
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. heatherberm
Total: 521 (members: 3, guests: 427, robots: 91)
test