Fidgeting

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Christine3, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. Christine3

    Christine3 Cohort

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    Jan 1, 2009

    Hi all,

    I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season. I do not post too much but when I do I always receive great advice.

    I had a problem the other day with a student banging, tapping and making loud noises with a stop watch. She was doing it for 20 minutes straight. I finally said enough and removed the object. I told her I did not want it to break. What is the reason for her doing this? She was literally tapping it and making a loud noise. It was so hard for me to concentrate on the lesson.

    I would like to know why this action was done and what can I do to prevent it.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Jan 1, 2009

    Many students need to fidgit. When I have students who do this (and often don't know that they are doing it), I try to teach them ways to do it that doesn't disturb others. I allow them to do any fidgiting they want as long as it doesn't stop others (or themselves) from learning.

    -Small squishy balls
    -Standing instead of sitting-- put their desk to the highest setting
    -Large rubber band on their chair (softly bump their heels)
    -Large pillow-like bean bag to sit on and softly move
    -Velcro on the bottom of their desk (soft side) to rub their fingers against
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jan 1, 2009

    There could be lots of reasons. Most likely she didn't realize that she was making that much noise.

    I'm a person with a lot of nervous energy. Over the years I've learned lots of non-distracting ways to release my energy. I sometimes do not realize that I'm making noise.

    You don't ever want to give me a retractible pen or anything that clicks or taps. Stress balls used to be good for me, but I now have a problem with by grip, so when I try to use a stress ball now I have "drop & roll "issues.

    Next time make sure that you lay down the ground rules for the stopwatch when you give it to her. Make it clear what is and is not appropriate to do with it. Also, if she starts doing something inappropriate with it, don't want 20 minutes to stop it.
     
  5. Arky

    Arky Comrade

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    I had a 3rd grade student start tapping his pencil this year the first day of school. He also was mimicking everything I was saying. I ignored him at first, then took away his pencil. He then started popping his knuckles so I looked at him and said, Go to the hall and pop all you want. You can come back in when you are finished. He said, I'm done. I did not have any more problems.
     
  6. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    Jan 2, 2009

    My son is a fidgeter. I am a fidgeter. I truly do not realize I am doing it. The best thing I found for my students if their fidgeting is distracting is to quietly walk over and either ask them to stop or to calmly place my hand to make the pencil stop.

    I have realized that I mostly do it when I need to concentrate on something but my mind is going a million miles a minute. It helps me focus.
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I didn't realize I'm a fidgeter until I went to a workshop that discussed this. They had balls and toys out on the table, and the next thing I know, everyone is staring at me as I obsessively played with them!
     
  8. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I have that darn restless leg syndrome. Sometimes during the day I just have to move. To calm it, I have to take meds.
     
  9. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Jan 2, 2009

    My dad did this when he was in school. Come to find out he was just a drummer. He plays the drums for our church and has a set at home in the garage. His poor teachers.
     
  10. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Jan 2, 2009

    Some children and adults need to fidget in order to process
    information. She may need to do this in order the focus.

    Most Occupational Therapy web site stores sell fidgets. As the previous posters stated fidgets are tactile toys you fidget with your hands. Some are sticky, stringy, stretchy, clicky, etc. Search the web. You can purchase many of these inexpensively at normal retail stores. I even bought a clicky snake thing at Lakeshore. An OT I know buys sticky balls in bulk at Orential Trader.

    I have a child who has processing issues and weight calms him. I have "circle snakes" made of soccer socks and beans. I place a snake on his lap and one on his shoulders. 20 minutes during circle time gives me about 2 hours of concentration. Many OTS use weighted vests for children with sensory issues. They are way more effective and expensive.

    TeacherPipi's suggestions are also common OT practices.

    For some, their oral sense, not tactile is the issue. One of the best solutions (and banned in most schools) is gum. Hard candy is another. Smell helps others. Smelly pens and pencils are good.

    Research Occupational Therapy and Sensory Processing on the web. Check out some of the items. You can purchase them just about anywhere. Try some fidgits. Consider some of TeacherPipi's ideas. You can easily find an age-appropriate, class-appropriate solution.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    My son fidgets. We've had a discussion about visual distractions (since most of his are) and when he does it, I just look at him and say, "visual distraction" and he knows what I'm talking about and stops. I try to tolerate smaller doses of it for his sake and he gets out of my eye range or stops for my sake.
     
  12. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jan 4, 2009

    I'm a tapper-fidgeter! I do it professionally and I know it gets under people's skin so I work real hard not to do it. I've developed "air tapping" where it looks like I'm playing a piano several inches from the table or desk. This is only around my DD because it bugs her so and we get a good laugh out of it.

    However, this kid may have been fidgeting just to get your attention, and kids will do that.
     
  13. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    What makes you think a child may fidgit for attention if you don't fidgit for attention? How do you determine the cause of a fidgiting child?
     
  14. Christine3

    Christine3 Cohort

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    Feb 15, 2009

    I am still having some issues with a student and the fidgeting. She grabs what ever object is in front of her and continually makes noise. Example- we had rulers out from making graphs. I was working with 2 other students and she stood up. She was trying to interrupt while I was speaking, "Mrs.___ I " I ignored this. Then she began tapping the ruler on the desk....OK I had it and said "What do you need?" I honestly, think she does not have the patience to wait, I am aware of the fact this may be ADHD. Then another day, she was banging rulers together during a lesson. I walked over and said "I need those back." The child sitting next to her goes "Thank you!" so the other kids are picking up on it too. I did replace the ruler with rubber bands and a stress ball...she has tons of energy...I just need some advice to help her...thank you again
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Feb 15, 2009

    Oooohhhhhh Christine3!!! I love your quote under your post!!
     
  16. Christine3

    Christine3 Cohort

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    Thank you very much, cutNglue!!!
     
  17. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Feb 15, 2009

    Christine,
    I, too, find noisy fidgeting annoying. Sometimes, simply saying in a quiet voice "You know, if you can hear that, so can everyone else." is very eye-opening. Then give them something quieter to fidget with.

    I realize that many people will say fidgeters and tappers can't help it, but I counter with this -- what about the child with ADD who can't focus on anything because of the noisy tapping? Both children's needs have to be taken into consideration.

    I try the "If you can hear it, so can everybody else." line, replace the noisy item with something quiet (I have a box full of fun figdets I have collected over the years.) If it is simply impatience (as in your second example) sometimes you can teach self-control (When you stop tapping your pencil and sit quietly with your hand raised, I will call on you.) Sometimes the child really can't help it, but other times you can redirect their over-abundance of energy into something more constructive.
     
  18. Christine3

    Christine3 Cohort

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    Feb 15, 2009

    Rainstorm,
    Thank you so much. I appreciate your advice. I'll try the "If you can hear it, so can everybody else." That is a neat way to make them think about what they are doing. She lacks self-control, so i try to be understandable, but the banging has got to stop!
    Thanks again!
     

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