Squirrely Kids

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by missrebecca, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Sep 12, 2014

    I have 2 kids (1st grade) who NEED to move around every second of every day... they also tend to make a lot of noise, like humming and tapping objects. I tend to redirect the class very often to get these students back on track. Without sending them to a solitary area ALL the time, is there anything else I can do? (It's a space issue -- we don't have individual desks and our room is small)

    Also, one of the worst times this happens is when they're in line for extended periods of time, like taking a bathroom break or waiting to be picked up by parents. I don't want my line to be the only one with kids digging holes in the ground, wandering aimlessly in circles, etc. Any ideas for quiet "games" or things they could do? I can't supervise them constantly at dismissal because I have to walk kids to their parents' cars.

    :help:
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Sep 12, 2014

    First, I don't know why we expect 6 year olds to be able to stand quietly doing nothing. It sounds awful to me as an adult!

    Second, I like flashcards and mental math. Still not the best at getting every student involved, but better than just standing there.
     
  4. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Sep 13, 2014

    None of those things would bother me if my 4th graders were doing them, let alone 1st graders. As long as the tapping or humming wasn't ridiculously disruptive I'd even let that go if I realized it was something the student "needed" to do.

    I had a student that tapped in a way that was pretty disruptive to the other students. I got him a Hokki stool which allows for active sitting and the very disruptive tapping stopped. The stool has a round bottom and allowed him to rock in his seat, it provided enough movement/activity that he wasn't disrupting others.
     
  5. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Sep 13, 2014

    Hmmm, maybe I'll try a wiggle seat. Thanks for the idea! In-class disruptions are my biggest concern. Every day, I see 2 or 3 students going into others' personal space and distracting them, or other students seeing inappropriate behaviors and copying them. My best solution has been sending them to an "island" when they are disruptive... but these few are the repeat offenders who wind up being sent there all day long. Thinking about buying some stickers for positive reinforcement...

    I'm new to 1st grade, so maybe the lines aren't that big of an issue for most people. I just have to wonder how the Kindergarten teachers at my school can get their students to stand straight and quiet in line at the bathroom, but some of my 1st graders run around uncontrollably. It seems like their must be a trick to it, yanno? ;)
     
  6. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Sep 13, 2014

    ^^ The kiddos act better the younger they are. The Pre-K and Kinder kiddos are the best hallway walkers at our school! The defiance comes with age for most kids. I have squirrley kids too, but it's almost half of my class!
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Sep 13, 2014

    I teach my kids to wiggle their foot or bounce their leg and show them how I do it. Since then, many kids will pick up when I'm wiggling my foot under my desk when I'm using the Elmo. I think it helps them see that it's a good coping device even for adults who have trouble sitting still.
     
  8. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    Sep 13, 2014

    I think what you described sounds completely appropriate. Some children (and some adults) need to move!

    I always question those perfectly still bathroom lines for ANY grade. Since when did standing silently become a must?? Like another poster said, I would never expect adults to do that.

    Recommendations for the bathroom:
    1. Have your students use a lower-volume voice. Children know how to speak softly. As long as they aren't disrupting the other classes... what is the problem?
    2. Can you speak with your principal about hanging things on the wall near the bathroom? We have a bulletin board that is eye-level for the students with the alphabet and some pictures, and the children love looking at that. If not, put some flashcards on a ring and have students bring that to look at.
    There is definitely a gray area between standing silently and running wild.

    For in class distractions...
    How long are you having the students sit still for? Try to limit the amount of time students are meant to be sitting still to shorter time blocks.
    I understand you listed space as a problem.... would it be possible to have certain students sit in a corner seat or something?

    Could you please expand on the inappropriate behaviors students are copying? Things such as tapping... could you give them a soft object to play with? Or, as another poster suggested... teach them how to wiggle quietly.

    When I first started teaching I thought a quiet line = a good teacher. Students seated straight and tall = a good teacher. I have since changed my opinion.
     
  9. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2014

    This is really helpful! I like the idea of bringing things like flash cards (maybe I'll do subitizing dots or tally marks) for students to focus on in line. That's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! :)

    I have one energetic student who does behaviors that others think are amusing and often copy. I've seated her at a smaller table with fewer students, but there's still a monkey-see-monkey-do effect. She will take her pencil and make big circles by dragging it all the way across the table, lean back on her chair, dance in her seat... it's pretty disruptive. I think she may just need an island. lol... The interesting thing is, she DOES pay attention and get her work done, but others are distracted and it has been affecting their performance.

    Good reminder about keeping the kids active. We do have 2 recesses, plus lunch recess, and PE every day... but I should probably incorporate more physical stuff just because they're still only 6 years old.
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Sep 15, 2014

    For the girl who moves but is paying attention, try finding some fidgets. You can make them too. A balloon filled with beans, or a sock she can tie and untie might help. No need to get fancy ones. :)
     
  11. Starista

    Starista Cohort

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    Sep 15, 2014

    Good Morning!

    I use some of the great habits listed here. Flash cards, sight word cards, even BrainQuest cards. Sometimes I would ask questions to the children who I knew had a difficult time using a soft voice. The noise level charts helped!

    You can also try a mystery walker! Choose one of the children's sticks w/ their name on it and if that child had the behavior that you expected in the hallway they get a treat. (Extra raffle ticket, stickers, etc). Incentives rock! :lol:

    Finally, our classroom of 2nd grade boys was next to third grade! So during FCAT week it was essential they remain quiet during bathroom break. I am fine w/ whispers but this was one week when we were quiet. I actually had them take books to read when we were in a bathroom line. Also (and this might only work for 2nd and higher?) it helped when I explained WHY I needed them to be completely silent that week. We talked about testing and how it's important for the kids to be able to concentrate, etc. I find that kids (my own one too!) who are reluctant to follow rules for whatever reason do better when I explain WHY they're needed.
     
  12. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Sep 15, 2014

    Sometimes I give them a fidget toy or stress ball to play with during class to decrease touching others and talking out.
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 16, 2014

    As a pre-first teacher (age of first graders), I have to say that is not always true...I have about 3 or 4 absolutley defiant kids this year. They have no problem telling you no....no they will not stand in their number order..no, they will not open their book...no, they will not do whatever they are being asked to do. Granted, most kids at this age are teacher pleasers, but make no mistake about it, there are some defiant ones in the bunch as well. I´m really lucky as I have all of them in our grade level this year!
     

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