Constantly playing with things

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by otterpop, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 3, 2014

    I have a child who is consistently in a world of her own.

    She brings toys to school, and keeps them hidden. I take them when I see them but it is an endless supply.

    She hoards kleenex pieces (takes them secretively and then hides them) to build little beds in her pencil boxes. She will line up two pencils and make a game out of playing with them. She also doodles constantly. Whatever she has available, even if it's next to nothing, she finds a way to play with it.

    I have restricted access to her desk, gone through her desk with her, called home, documented via the school system, but nothing seems to deter her.

    I dislike writing discipline referrals for her because, when someone else is reading about it, it seems like a minor problem and one I should be able to control. However, I feel like I have literally tried everything.

    She is off task often and doesn't get a lot of work done. For example, during writing she will often sit and draw pictures in her writing notebook, despite lots of reminders to write. She is at grade level and can do most of the work in most subjects. She doesn't mind staying in for recess, so when I dole out that punishment for being off task, it has little effect on her.

    Would you keep writing discipline referrals? Is there anything else I can do?
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oct 3, 2014

    I wouldn't be surprised if she wasn't a gifted child (or very above average IQ) with ADHD Inattentive. If she can be on grade level with paying so little attention to anything, she must be bright.

    Ask her what she is drawing about. Get her to verbalize what she is telling in pictures. Ask her to write the words first then she can draw the picture. It may be that she is stronger visually so when presented with paper she will draw instead of write even though she is capable. She can show her thoughts so much easier in pictures.

    Set up a plan with her with rewards and a timer. She must do a certain amount of work (broken down into smaller amounts) in a certain amount of time. She will get a stamp. After so many stamps she can spend so many minutes doing something creative such as draw.

    Make sure you let her know that you know she is capable and keeps thinking of ideas when she is supposed to be working, and the plan is to help her get her work done so she can spend some time being creative.

    Does she have social problems with other children such as not relating to them much even though she doesn't have behavior issues?

    Referrals don't fix problems, they just punish. If punishment was going to work, it would have worked already. She is in her own creative world most of the time and still at grade level.

    Just some ideas. They may not work. It depends on the problem. What does she have to say about the daydreaming?
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 3, 2014

    Yes, I would agree that she could be gifted. She's easily the most creative child in the room. She has elaborate stories about the things she's drawing when I do ask her about them. Her math is not good but she's good at language arts. She was telling me about the website that she wanted to make and the videos she would like to make about the characters she draws, and I could actually see those things happening if she were to put her mind to it. She has about 50 characters and names for all of them.

    She gets along fine with the other children. She likes to share her toys. :rolleyes:
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Oct 3, 2014

    Math at that age has a lot to do with working memory and number sense. If calculation is bad, it comes out in almost all aspects of math. She probably passes, but it isn't strong. How is her spelling? Does she loose letters or words when she does write even though her writing when she does write is good?
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 3, 2014

    No, her spelling is pretty decent. Not perfect, but I can easily read what she writes.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 4, 2014

    What grade is this?
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Oct 4, 2014

    4th.
     
  9. Dr Kevlar

    Dr Kevlar Rookie

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    Oct 31, 2014

    Realizing that I am very late to this party, I tend to agree that you should take advantage of what she does do well in order to engage her in the less (for her) attractive aspects of elementary school. Since she already has a cast of characters then I would definitely Premack Principle the snot out that. Allowing her to develop her characters as a reward for doing certain curriculum-related tasks would be a good thing.

    But let's step out of the box a moment, shall we? Why not use that cast of characters to engage her in the curriculum? Get to know a couple of them (I'm serious) and then ask if she can write responses in character to whatever you are working on. This will be harder to do for math since it is a non-preferred activity, but maybe they can join forces to learn their math facts.

    I realize you've got a roomful of students and can't drop everything to cater the lessons to her but this kiddo sounds like she is seriously cook to work with...
     
  10. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Nov 1, 2014

    Give her a fidget item. We use them in my class. She clearly can't keep her hands still so give her something simple to hold or fiddle with during class. I don't allow my students to hold the item all the time - meals, hands on task lessons. It's made a significant difference for my fidgety kids. We use large rubber items since they are easy to clean. Do a web search and you'll see the wide variety of items available.
    I have a hard time sitting still during some classes and workshops. I'll bring something to do like knitting, crocheting, coloring, laminate trim work. She could be very, very bored or not.
     

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