Pencil Tapping Boy Driving Class Crazy

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by brenau, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. brenau

    brenau New Member

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    Apr 9, 2009

    I have a student who taps and drums his pencil. He is in eighth grade and appears to use this to gain teacher and peer attention. We have had a parent conference to discuss his ongoing behavior and the mother reports he has done this since 2nd grade. The student will look directly at you and click his pen or drum his pencil to see the reaction of the teacher. I have tired to ignore him and this does not help. Any direction anyone can offer is greatly appreciated!! Thank you!!
     
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  3. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Apr 9, 2009

    Walk over and take the pencil. No need for talking about it. And when he starts tapping on his desk, quietly remove him from the classroom. He's doing it on purpose, not like some kids (and adults) who do that subconsciously. He wants attention, and doesn't care if it's negative.

    This would work in my situation, though. I have no idea if it would work in your school.
     
  4. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    I fall else fails, give him straws. I did that at the beginning of the year and told the student if he lost them that he would have to replace them himself. I also made it clear that drumming pencils was disrupting the learning of others and would not be tolerated. For my student, the straws have worked perfectly. At Christmas, his mom gave me a box of straws. :) Apparently he has had this problem with other teachers and it had been an issue.

    I just realized that yours is in 8th. It does seem like more of an attention getting thing rather than nervous thing like my student. But hey, it is worth a shot. :)
     
  5. Historygeek

    Historygeek Companion

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    I agree - I'd take the pencil away and if he did it again send him out of the classroom.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Wonderful solution! We have a few grade 8 fidgeters/pencil tappers/finger drummers, I'm going to try this next week.
     
  7. southside

    southside Rookie

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    When I sub I always have a student tapping away. I would walk up to the student and tell him to stop. Sometime they would stop sometimes they would, so I would take the pencil away until it was time to write and then I would give it back to him.

    Southside
     
  8. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Apr 10, 2009

    I had an 8th grader who couldn't control the tapping (OCD or Tourette's or something) so I stuck a mouse pad on his desk. he tapped out his anxiety or whatever in muted tones for the rest of the year.

    Take away the clicky pen and give him a plain Bic.
     
  9. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Yes, give him something to do that won't make noise, like a rubber ball to squeeze...
     
  10. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    I tap subconsciously. It's part of my ADHD - the tapping actually helps me concentrate. Taking my pencil or pen away, or putting your hand over mine when I am tapping my fingers is actually the WORST possible thing you can do. I lose all concentration and actually have to start the task over from the beginning- I actually had to retake a midterm in University when a fellow Education student (who was someone I knew and well aware of my diagnose) put his hand over mine.

    If this child has been doing this since the second grade, I highly doubt that it is conscious at this point. If it is, that's impressive!
     
  11. azure

    azure Companion

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    No one should have to put up with that; I don't care what the reason is.
     
  12. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Really? So as someone with a diagnosed learning challenge I ask, how would you enable me to continue concentrating? I literally cannot resume a task when someone physically stops me from tapping. I have never been able to. I have to take a break and start all over. Its part of how the ADHSD manifests in my case, and I am not the only one who suffers from this challenge.

    Now I wrote exams in isolation to avoid distracting others, but what would you do if a student like myself began tapping in the middle of math class while they were hyper-concentrating (something people with ADHSD do)? I only tap when I am hyper-concentrating, and if I lose that concentration it is not possible for me to get it back. It becomes a mental block and I have to start the entire task from the beginning in order to get back into that hyper-concentration zone so to speak.

    I advocate for kids like this because a lot of the time, they really can't help it, and people who think its just annoying fail to understand that it can be a special needs issue.
     
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  13. pcfaithful

    pcfaithful Rookie

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    Brenau,
    Have you heard of the Love and Logic methods? If you used them correctly they seem to with your students. I have reading the Teaching with Love and Logic for my behavior class. Mr. Jim Fay and David Funk gives some great ideas about how to solve behavioral problems. I just read one of the situation they gave in the book. It start out like this the teacher smiles,and casually wandered back to the student and whispered, "I don'know if you realize it or not, but i get distracted when there are pencils tapping." The student looked at the teacher in to save face with his peers he said, "This class is boring." The teacher told him in a quiet still voice, "if you think it's boring now at ten o'clock, you ought to see how bad I am at two." Then she walked off. When you do this it makes your student think about what he doing. It's giving your student some control over the situation and you are not so stressed all the time.
    You should the book and read it. Then you can try some of the ideas in your classroom. They are little one-liner but they seem to when you give your choices instead of embarrassing them in front of their peer.

    Hope you give Love and Logic a try if could you and students.
    Good Luck,
    pcfaithful
     
  14. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Canadian Girl,
    While I appreciate your desire to advocate for those with ADHSD (not sure what form of ADHD that is), one student shouldn't cause all those around him/her to lose concentration so that the one with the disability can carry on.

    Lots of the ideas on here sound like a good plan if the boy truly has a problem. Moving him to an area that doesn't cause disruption would also work. If it's simply a desire for attention, then I'd just stop it.
     
  15. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    ADHSD = Attention Deficit Hyperactivity SPECTRUM Disorder, because ADHD is a SPECTRUM disorder in that, it manifests DIFFERENTLY in everyone who has it. Anyone who has worked with MULTIPLE people with ADHSD would know that. Also, it is NOT classified as an LD - Dyslexia is an LD, ADHSD is a DISORDER not a DISABILITY. There is a very large difference between the two.

    If that one student is being disruptive to those around them, as I already suggested, isolate them. However, if it is someone with ADHSD, and they are hyperfocusing, you will likely be PUNISHING them for something that they cannot CONTROL by making them start all over. Want to make a kid hate school? Do that a couple dozen times.

    I teach a student with ADHSD who makes white noise - sound effects. I am not allowed to remove him from the classroom because it is not something he can control - other students who are affected by his behaviour leave. I don't understand why those with difficulties, disorders and disabilities are always being punished for the majority.
     
  16. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    My grandson has ADH, and makes white noise, and he can stop it. With support, these behaviours can change.
     
  17. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    With support - NOT punishment -there is a big difference!

    Not only that, but, as a spectrum disorder the level of severity varies from person to person.
     
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  18. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    I love that idea!!! I teach music so tapping is OK...but not when I am giving directions. Do you have any issues with everyone wanting a straw after 1 student gets one?
     
  19. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    No. They all knew I had been fussing at him for tapping and I think they were just as happy as I was to find a way to silence him. :)
     
  20. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    That makes sense. I have 2 twin 4th grade boys in different classes who came to our school in the last 2 months. They drive us all crazy with tapping, noise making, getting out of their seat etc... The kids are so used to yelling at him & tattling on him b-c the classroom teacher lets them. I do not let them & tell them it is my job to tell students what to do. :D I really try not to fuss too much at him...but sometimes I can't take it! :eek: The straws mights just help them. Thanks!
     
  21. xaviera

    xaviera Rookie

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    I love the mouse pad idea! In my experience, I'd be concerned with straws (blowing things through them). However, I definitely like the idea of allowing the tapping to continue in a manner that is acceptable to me and not disruptive to others around that student.
     
  22. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    I like your approach. Before taking the pencil I might give the boy a "You are disrupting my class. Don't do it again. Do you understand what I just said?". This would be delivered in a firm, no nonsense manner. If he continued I might take the pencil, then again if I believe he is simply trying to challenge me.... I would remove him from the classroom.
     
  23. W. Gray

    W. Gray Guest

    Feb 17, 2018

    It is simple, give the child a pair of drumsticks. This is his gift. Sign him up for drum lessons and give him an avenue to work on his gift. Be the teacher that see potential and not a problem. Read the story about Clint Pulver https://clintpulver.com/educators.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2018
  24. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  25. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    It’s not fair to others to be distracted by your noise that helps you concentrate. I’d remove the student and let him/her take the test in private. If only one kid is able to concentrate (the tapper), and the 20+ others cannot, then that is not an equitable situation.
     
  26. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Give him a Q-tip to tap
     
  27. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    This situation calls me a reflection period in the hallway or give him a giant pencil grip.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  28. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Um.....ok. I have never heard this before. I may be in the wrong, and correct if I am..but I think you may have some information mixed up a bit.
     
  29. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    If you provide a piece of a sponge to tap on, it would dampen the sound. No pun intended.
     
  30. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Isn't the original pencil tapper in college at this point? ;)
     
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  31. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    There’s always another one coming up the ranks. It’s endemic at my school.
     
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  32. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    We have several!
     

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