Class policies on... weird stuff

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Backroads, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sooo.... one of my kiddos is eating paper. Lots of it. As in, sneaking it out of my paper supply, ripping up his notebooks, class books, to eat lots and lots of paper. Mom is in the loop, it's a sensory thing for him.

    I had to set up an official set of policies with this kid about eating paper. He was desperately looking for loopholes to let him eat the paper.

    Sigh. Glad it's Friday.
     
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  3. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    No loopholes! If paper of any kind hits his mouth, immediate consequences. Who has time for that?
     
  4. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    I had one last year! I had a feeling he was doing this for attention. He said something to me like, "Do you think I will eat this paper?" I said, "I don't know." We watched him eat a paper ball. Then, I said, "Next time you can eat a whole notebook." For some reason, being "allowed" to do this took away the thrill. He never did it again though I heard he did this in other classes.

    If he would have kept eating paper, I probably would have emailed the guidance counselors. My student was 13 was just trying to be a bit of a show-off. Wonder if he is eating paper at our high school...
     
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  5. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Hopefully you won't run into "my dog ate my homework" excuses, with "I" in place of "my dog" :rofl:
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There are medical conditions associated with eating paper (and chalk and assorted other things...). Contact the parents and ask them to consult pediatrician and notify guidance. Setting up consequences could be detrimental if this is out of your student's control.
     
  8. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    And to think I thought eating paste was a problem.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    EatinG paste can also be a medical issue
     
  10. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I had several thoughts, could be a medical situation, and also could be a psychological situation where the paper eating has a altering effect, perhaps calming him, similar to teenagers pricking themselves. But considering his age, it might just be something he found he likes to do. I agree with czacza, a pediatrician should be consulted to be on the safe side. As far as classroom intervention, perhaps a discussion with the student where he plans an alternative action or snack might be helpful.

    Kaboom! I just had a brainstorm. It's a bit unconventional, but perhaps with parental help, he could create a recipe book. Perhaps this could even evolve into a class project, a classroom created recipe book that could be sold to raise money for a special cause. (I think I'd avoid recipes that include paper, of course). Maybe even to get this started, a good library resource might be Watson and Rossini, Pennie ed. Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson: Recipes for Innovation from IBM & the Institute of Culinary Education. Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks, Inc. 2015. Watson is listed as the author's name, but Watson is not a human, it's a computer! The recipes themselves are designed by the Institute of Culinary Education after Watson originates the ingredients based on an algorithm that searches for taste and originality. The recipes are much too complicated to try in a classroom, but with the photographs and introductory text, I think the students would enjoy browsing through the book and discussing it as a class. The reason I thought of this book is because of it's unusual combination of ingredients which apparently actually are quite tasty. Another book idea for a reference would be one of the many cookbooks written for kids which would also include good safety procedures.
     
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  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    He couldn't turn in his writing assignment because he ate it. Enough to make it hard to read the paper, anyway.
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    This is already in the works. It's part of his autism, apparently.

    I'm not giving him consequences (beyond the natural ones) to eating paper. I'm just trying to prevent him from eating it.

    This is also my kiddo who doesn't want to go to recess. Ah, this child. Despite all of this, he is becoming one of my favorite students.
     
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  13. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    If it's a sensory thing, there are many products available for children that are meant to be chewed on, such as necklaces and bracelets. Normally they're sold to help kids with ADHD or Autism. https://www.arktherapeutic.com/chewelry/

    That's a tough problem though... it would be hard to keep paper away from a child in a classroom!
     
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  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I immediately thought of Pica as well. Giving behavior consequences for an eating disorder doesn't make sense. If the parents are clued in, they should probably get a heads up on this potential issue and make an appointment with the kiddo's doctor.
     
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  15. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    They always say limit the number of rules but make them cover a lot.

    Rule 1: Don't be weird.
    Rule 2: Don't do weird stuff.

    Wait, they aren't supposed to be negative.

    Rule 1: Be weird but in a non irritating way.

    Darn still sounds negative.

    Rule 1: Be good.

    I quit.
     
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  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My big rule is straight from Love and Logic: Don't interfere in the learning process. This, however, seems more like an eating disorder than a disruptive behavior.
     
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  17. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    ^^This. I love and craved chomping on ice, turns out I was anemic and now I know if/when I get the urge I know it's my levels getting low and I have to take extra supplements. Anemia is typically associated a desire to chew ice, eat dirt, and... you guessed it, chew paper. Also, possible Pica...

    Could be an attention thing, maybe a recommendation to the school counselor could point toward the right direction?
     
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  18. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    For my students who tend to "eat" inappropriate things, they are given a chew tube or other similar things such as chew necklaces, tags,etc. There are lots of things out there that will satisfy that sensory need.
     
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