2nd grader fiddling with shoelaces during carpet time

Discussion in 'General Education' started by thesub, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Please give me some ideas how to get him to stop and pay attention to the lesson. I am a p/t aide for him and lately he has been doing this. THere's nothing going on at home and he's a nice kid actually. He does get PT services and has an IEP>

    We moved his card to yellow today for fidgeting on the carpet. Yesterday I told him he could earn stickers for tech. break, lunch with the teacher etc but he says he doesn't want stickers. I am now trying to catch him being good and praise him a lot but if you could give me other ideas, that's be super.

    I could have him sit at the desk till he shows he can behave on the carpet but I don't want to get into a tussle with him while other students are already seated on the carpet.

    Thank you so much,
    thesub
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I'm sure you checked for understanding with the student to see if he was listening, but fiddling can be several things, none of which should be punished. Sometimes it is just ignoring, but if the child has an IEP and goes to PT, there is probably a reason for the fiddling. Johnathan Mooney, a speaker and advocate for those with disabilities explains how as he was a child the fiddling and moving was what allowed him to engage when the material was presented in a way that he could understand.

    I'd be careful thinking that fiddling is the problem when it might be a symptom of not understanding or the need for tactile perception or movement that helps him to attend.
     
  4. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Give him something to play with in his hands instead. Have him play quietly with that and keep focus on the speaker.
     
  5. Jen84

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    I agree with monsieurteacher. A teacher I used to work with would give students one of those stress balls to squeeze if they fiddling with things.
     
  6. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    The student does understand the material despite the fiddling. The teacher has a strict rule about quiet body and quiet hands (ab. nothing should be in kids' hands) and she gets upset when she sees the him fiddling though I thought she would realize it could be sensory. I am going to ask the PT person about this.

    If we give the student a stress ball, others start looking at him and get distracted.

    I am also going to ignore the child when he starts fiddling - he will fiddle, look at me, fiddle, look:))

    Thank you all.
     
  7. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Take away shoes.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Is the teacher giving him a hard time?
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I understand the teacher's frustration... I'd love if all of my kiddos would sit perfectly still too... that isn't how some kiddos "work" though. With some kiddos, there very act of sitting still takes so much energy and concentration that actually learning isn't happening. You run into a Catch-22 where the kid is so busy trying to focus that he can't actually focus.
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    My suggestions is...Let it go, let it go...I would post a link to the song, but I think we have all heard it way too many times.
     
  11. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    :agreed: Oh man, if I was going to start getting after my second graders for 'fiddling' I would get absolutely no teaching done. As a fellow fidgeter, please encourage his teacher to let this go!
     
  12. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Agreed. I had teachers try to take away whatever object I was using that was "distracting" me from their lesson (for me it was my sketchbook) and I honestly never really got over it as long as I was in their classes. It was like.. the height of offense to me for a teacher to take away my sketchbook, because I WAS listening. I just needed something to occupy my hands. I still do.

    Especially with 2nd grade -- so many kids don't get enough time to move and get all their energy out, so it comes out in fidgeting and chair tipping and other things like that. Let him fidget if he understands the content. It's obviously just keeping his hands occupied, not his brain. :)
     
  13. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Apr 16, 2015

    Thank you all for your suggestions...

    I am also inclined to let it go but I heard that p/t paras also get evaluated in our school. This is only my 2nd year as a para. I am worried the teacher will give negative feedback to the P that I am not able to calm down the student:(.

    Ultimately if that is the student's learning style, then so be it.

    Have a great weekend!


     
  14. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    My thought is...Good Grief!...what's the matter with this teacher? Why is she expecting her students to sit like statues? Children need movement, and fiddling is not much movement.
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I totally agree those kiddos need to fidget a bit, but my mentor my first year was adamant I didn't let my first graders fidget or fiddle.

    When you have mentors and/or admin who believe kids should sit still, it can put you in a quandary.
     
  16. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I didn't realize I myself was a fiddler until I attended a workshop that included small objects on the tables that participants were encouraged to use as focus objects. I picked up one of those Koosh balls, and I found myself closely attuned to what was happening in the presentation. I started using small toys, balls, and other squishy items in my classroom, and the kids really responded well.

    I'm curious...does the regular teacher get them to sit perfectly quiet and still all day?
     
  17. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    So he was just fiddling with his shoe laces? That's all?

    When he takes off his shoes and starts fiddling with his toes, let me know.
     
  18. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Rookie

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    I always had a basket of stress balls. Actually they were balloon ends filled with playdough and tied off with rubber bands. The kids loved them. We always had a discussion about proper use. I taught 2nd as well.

    Sounds like this teacher has expectations that are not age appropriate. Tough situation for you. Can you sit down with her and discuss the fact that he is learning the material and see what she has to offer "idea" wise?
     
  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Great idea for making an inexpensive, very useful product. Thank you so much for sharing this! :)
     
  20. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Quite honestly, it's not your job to calm the student. It's your job to support the student - in whatever way he/she needs. In this case, it's finding a way for him to be successful in learning the skills and concepts, regardless of what he does with his hands at the time. It sounds like the teacher has unrealistic expectations. Maybe one of the teachers or therapists from your sped team need to have a talk with her to explain what is realistic and suggest accommodations for this child. As a para/aide, you are not paid enough to deal with pushback from the teacher, so pass it on to someone who is.
     
  21. 2ndTimeAround

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    So, what about the students that cannot concentrate on the lesson because of the fidgeting?

    I have a student that fidgets (actually a couple) in high school. He can't help it. His medication isn't adjusted. He didn't take his meds. He is extra nervous. He's, he's he's.

    What he is, is very lucky that I could talk down the student that wanted to beat the crap out of him for being so distracting all the time.

    That class is filled with students that have ADHD, ADD and behavior disorders. Sprinkled in are regular kids without labels. The ADHD kid keeps the ADD kid from learning anything. Heaven forbid the BEH kid with ADD is trying to learn something on the same day an ADHD kid forgot his medication.

    I get that second grade is miles away from high school, but I hear a lot of the same thing from these kids' counselors and case workers. Just let them fidget. It isn't fair to those who can't learn due to the noise and movement.
     
  22. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    If movement is the problem, then provide preferential seating away from other students. If noise is an issue, then that would be reason for further intervention... but without a specific scenario, it's hard to say what that intervention should be. I do agree with your sentiment, as I have a very disruptive student in my classroom. However, I do my best to make accommodations for him before having him removed from class.
     
  23. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    My third graders who need to fidget naturally gravitate towards the back of the group during whole-group lessons. If anyone is distracted by such a student fidgeting with their hands, I take it as proof that they aren't paying attention to the lesson. A good fidget is something fairly small and quiet. If another student is distracted by a fidget being used properly, that's their own problem. During any type of meeting that requires me to sit still and listen, I constantly am fidgeting with a pencil... it's not obnoxious, I'm not creating noise, nobody's going to notice unless they are specifically watching me, and I have to imagine it's less distracting than me beginning to snore would be.
     
  24. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    ahh, it is other kid's problem if someone tipping their chair back is distracting. Gotcha.

    Why is it that a tipping chair should be able to be ignored by an ADD student but an ADHD student shouldn't be able to stop tipping?
     
  25. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Nothing whatsoever that I said would have covered something like chair-tipping, or pencil-tapping, etc. There's a difference between a fidget and being obnoxious. Squeezing and rolling a small stress ball is a fidget. Tipping your chair back is obnoxious.
     
  26. 2ndTimeAround

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    chair tipping was mentioned up-thread.

    I'm okay with a stress ball squeezed under the desk/in the lap. Not okay with it rolling on a shared table.

    I'm all about helping a kid overcome obstacles. I am NOT all about putting the special needs of one over the common needs of everyone else. Meaning, your need to fidget is not more important than your classmates' need to learn.
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I had a math teacher YEEEEEARS ago and tell me she thought my son had ADHD (7th grade...no one ever had hinted of this).... After educating her about how she isn't licensed to make a medical diagnoss I told her she could talk to me about behaviors,. So what was my son doing? Rocking back in his chair. Suggested she either let him fall on his ass or take his chair away and let him work standing up. She had nothing else to say. He got As in math...bottom line, he was bored...he slept through HS math classes. Double majored in finance and accounting in college. Walking for his MBA in accounting next month....


    If fidgeting isn't affecting the student's or anyone else's learning, leave him alone!
     
  28. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Agreed! I have a student who rocks in his chair and tips it on a daily basis (this is a different student from the one I mentioned above). I've allowed the same two options - falling out or standing, and he's accepted both. I let it go because he's not bothering anyone else (I give him preferential seating, and put his desk off to the back and side of the room), and he's one of the highest kids in my class. Why would I fight that battle?!
     
  29. 2ndTimeAround

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    I have crowded classrooms. There is no spot to place a child that has distracting behaviors that will not affect other students. Everyone has a neighbor beside him/her.

    I had a student tell me yesterday that he NEEDED to toss his day-glo pink highlighter in the air as I lecture. Now, according to his grades, tossing it doesn't help him learn. But it sure does distract the students near him as well as me as I try to teach.
     
  30. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    If he NEEDS to throw his marker, then I would NEED to take it away. :lol:
    That's not fidgeting -- it's being a class clown and a pest, and I would not hesitate to take it from him as I walk by and tell him he can have it back when he can use it as a highlighter, not as a hacky-sack.

    Re: chair tipping -- this is a pet peeve of mine when I sub. It is worse in some classes than others, but I give a couple warnings and then take chairs away. It drives me CRAZY because the kids who tip their chairs the most also have squeaky seats.
     
  31. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    In an effort for clarity, the person who mentioned chair tipping said "fidgeting AND chair tipping AND etc", not that chair tipping IS fidgeting.

    I think fidgeting and chair tipping are two totally different things. Fidgeting shouldn't be loud or obnoxious.
     
  32. TamaraF

    TamaraF Companion

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    If I were forced to sit still, I would never learn anything. I manage to not disturb people around me, and students can learn the same thing.
     
  33. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Agreed. I have followed this thread, and unless he is chewing on the shoe laces, or they have bells that are ringing, I am really having trouble understanding how this action is problematic. This sounds much more like a teacher with unreasonable expectations, and I might be discussing UBD with her. We all learn differently. My mom had to be scribbling when listening, and my sister is the same. I don't see how this is distracting as long as it is quiet, the person is listening and learning, and there are not a ton of other actions going on that could be cause a lot of distractions for other students. He could be bored - too much teacher talk, not enough student interaction. I actually watch for such signals if I am talking about something I have a passion for. Just because I find it interesting in minute detail, many students will let me know, by these kinds of actions, that they have the gist of what I am saying, and it is time to move on.

    I wish that fiddling with the shoe laces was the worst distraction I had to deal with. I am more likely to have shoes off, being used as weapons or toys, but my classifications are in the BD and ED range, so that is my norm. I am a huge proponent of stress balls, rubrics cubes, worry beads, and the list goes on.

    I don't think I would be a good student in that classroom - I learn best by listening, but if bored, I have been known to nod off. Guessing that would be frowned on. ;)
     
  34. thesub

    thesub Comrade

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    Hello all: It was truly interesting to get all your feedback. Thank you so much for helping me think through all this. Anyway, I came up with a small strategy on Friday which helped a little bit.
    Whenever the student fiddled with his laces, I would go to him and ask him if he could share his thoughts on the teacher's questions. I tried to make the question interesting and fun, so he fiddled only for 2 seconds. Not sure how long this will work.

    I am be up for an eval( not sure if p/t aides are evaluated in your district) and I am just a tad nervous the teacher will complain I could not stop the fiddling! The teacher is new to 2nd grade and does have strong behavior expectations. However many of you have given me good points to argue why the fiddling should be ignored and I thank you again.
     
  35. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I'm going to bet that the evaluator won't even notice the fiddling! And as long as the student can participate in all the learning, the evaluator won't give you a poor evaluation because you 'couldn't stop the child from fiddling'.
     
  36. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Not saying this kid has ADHD like those in the link I'm about to share, but some kids NEED to move around in order to learn. Here's an article about a study that just came out on this topic:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/release.../top_science+(ScienceDaily:+Top+Science+News)

    One solution for fidgety kiddos is to give them something tangible, like a stress ball. You'd just have to go over expectations, like keeping it out of sight at their desk and not distracting other students. Those little wiggly cushions with the bumps (does anyone know the actual name? It's escaping me) are also helpful but not as cheap.
     

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