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fidgets during guided reading?
Old 10-22-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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I just bought a whole bunch of goodies from therapyshoppe.com to use as fidgets since I have quite a few constant wigglers this year.

I'm noticing that about 5 of my boys are constantly tapping/touching things...even during guided reading time when I'm working with them in a small group (playing with the book, tapping their pencils, slapping their own faces, etc.).

Any suggestions for how to introduce these items so that they aren't abused and so that these tools can help with focusing (and so I don't go insane haha)?


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Old 10-22-2013, 04:19 PM
 
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I think you'd have to do a mini-lesson with small groups. Introduce the fidget as a tool, what it's purpose is, how to use it, how to lose it. You could have the basket by your group, allowing any kid to use one as long as they use it correctly. You can guide those that really need it to use one.

A couple of ideas: must be used within boundaries of own body; must have no noise accompanying it's use; must follow lesson/expectations; must return fidget to basket when finished; must get tool at beginning of lesson/designated times.

Some kids might need to have one in their desks, to use as they feel it's needed (or as suggested by you).

Once kids are use to them, I think you will find little distraction involved. Hope they help~
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May I jump your post with a question?
Old 10-24-2013, 05:00 PM
 
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May I ask what fidgets you bought? It is a great website! I put a few things on a wish list but thought you might have some good recommendations. Thanks.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:00 AM
 
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kidsrterrific-I'll have to tell you when it arrives because I kept adding things to my cart and don't even remember everything!

I know I bought one of the fidget sample packs so I could see what worked with my students and the witch fingers for reading.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:47 AM
 
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I agree with Amy L's suggestions. You need to introduce the fidgets and how to use them, when to use them and what happens if they don't use them appropriately. Once you've introduced the fidgets and students have had a chance to use them, I think you'll find that the initial excitement will wear off and it will just be part of the routine and not a distraction. It is important to follow through. If the rule is "Fidgets stay on the lap/in hands" and the fidget gets thrown in the air, then it goes back in the basket. Make sure that happens every time.

I put Velcro dots underneath the table so students can rub their fingers on those. For one student, I wrapped a bungee cord around the front legs of the chair so he can bounce his feet up and down on that. That seems to work for him. Another student turns his chair around and leans forward into the back of the chair. It gives him more stability.

I had one student who was switched into my class. He wore a weighted vest all the time in the classroom he was in previously, but I found that it worked better to give him the choice of when he needed to wear it. I think it lost the effect when he wore it all the time.

This may sound silly, but have you ever seen those draft dodgers that you place underneath the door to keep drafts out? They are long and thick. Some of those are cute little animals. Sometimes it helps some students to have one of those on their laps.

You can make your own fidgets by filling balloons with cornstarch. Knot the balloon to close it. Just be aware if a student has an allergy to latex, he/she should not use the fidget.

I will introduce things to the whole class, but I don't offer them to every student. For example, one of my students benefited from sitting on a ball chair rather than a regular chair. When we first got the chair, he showed it to the other students and gave them a turn to sit on it. If he wasn't sitting on the chair, I gave him the freedom (and responsibility) to allow other students to sit on the chair. So it was a cool thing for him.

If you have students who complain, I explain to the class, "I will do whatever I can to help you learn. Students need different things so some students might use a fidget, sit in a different chair, write on another type of paper, write with a different type of pencil, sit in the front of the room... I will give you what you need. I need glasses to help me see. All of you don't need to wear glasses to help you see so if I gave you a pair of glasses to wear it wouldn't help you learn. I would just give glasses to the students who needed them."

I hope I was able to help a little.


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Old 10-28-2013, 12:02 PM
 
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I have the same problem (who doesn't?!). I am not sure what fidgets you bought but I use small squishy balls and I set ground rules and if they abuse it, such as throwing the ball, I make them turn their card or take away recess. I have noticed that even though the kids are fidgeting they are still paying attention because they do well on their assessments (the squishy ball helps!). When I first gave the balls out I let them play with and observe them for 30 seconds. I told the kids I will take them away if need be because the balls are only to help them and it has been working so far.
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