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Iteachsince11 Iteachsince11 is offline
 
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Managing a student who moves around a LOT
Old 01-02-2012, 01:11 AM
 
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I have a student who we strongly believe has ADHD, and on top of it is really low (in 2nd grade he's still learning the letters of the alphabet, goes to resource room 4 days a week for an hour each day, and speech 2 times a week for a half hour, that and works with a para for half hour every other day or so on the alphabet). Anyway, we've talked to mom about our concerns (had the school nurse come in and talk with her about concerns/seeing a doctor) and encouraged her to get him to the doctor, not to necessarily get him medicated but just to see if we can get a diagnosis to appropriately place it on his IEP. But in the meantime, I cannot seem to get him to (literally) sit still for the life of me. I've given him something (a squishy ball) to fidget with when on the rug with everyone else, but he just starts throwing it, which distracts the rest of the class. I've put him at his own spot (though sometimes it helps him to be with others), and I've tried to give him proximity to me at all times. However, when we are doing seat work I can't seem to get him to do it for anything. Before I know it he's under tables, crawling around, and while underneath the tables he's arching his back up which raises the tables and gets the students at that (those) tables frustrated and distracted. Some of my students have really picked up on it too, wanting to know why he likes to "play" at school when he should know how to do a lot (their words, not mine, which I'm trying to discretely address with the whole class somehow, haven't figured out how yet though).

It's gotten to be a big management problem because while as I hold the rest of the class to certain standards, I don't know that I can for him (we do Make Your Day at our school but both the Resource Room teacher and myself feel that it doesn't really work for him individually); while as he is still to do his best I know it is a lot harder for him to stay focused. My students see that he is acting differently and that I "let him get away with it", so they probably don't see me as being consistent with how I enforce the rules. Any suggestions as to what I can do to help him stay focused? He's really great at art so when we do writing I have him do a picture first (to develop his ideas as he can't write words yet and hasn't quite grasped phonetical spelling). At first I had a chart for him where every time he stayed in his seat or was quiet on the rug for 5 minutes he'd get a star and then after 10 stars would get a sticker or prize, which worked temporarily, but now I've had to lower that 5 minutes to 2 minutes, and even then it's still hard for him to stay on task for that amount of time. I'm hoping that we can get a diagnosis from the doctor, and then we can (maybe) get him on medication or can get other ideas from his doctor, but I'm looking for things to do in the meantime. I'd appreciate any help or suggestions you all can give me. (Oh and did I mention that this is my first year of teaching? I don't have any extreme behavior/rebellious students, but this is still tough. He is a great kid though, and I can tell he really does want to do a good job.)


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An idea
Old 01-02-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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Try using an exercise ball for a chair. For most 2nd graders, 55cm ball will work. I just bought one at Walmart for $8.77 so they are not really expensive. I experimented using one for a student before break and it was INCREDIBLE the difference. I know of teachers who use them and would not trade them for the world. I mentioned it to one of my parents who is a nurse, come to find out, she uses one at work as her chair! The one BIG rule is the ball can not leave the floor. I am actually going to offer this as an option to all my students. Google the idea, it isn't new.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:38 PM
 
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Try a therapy band around his chair legs. This works great for those kids who need to MOVE.
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Wiggle Seat
Old 01-07-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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These are discrete fit on their chair and really WORK! I have a rocker and a mover-these seats have really helped. They require them to concentrate on balancing. They are the same premise as the ball but without the OMG he gets a ball.....you can order them from amazon. Oh they are also tactile one side is smooth and the other is pokey-one of mine likes the pokey and the other the smooth?????
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Vest
Old 01-10-2012, 05:07 PM
 
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Have you heard of weighted vests? Kids at my school use them as it is supposed to help. I have yet to try it, but it would be worth looking into. They just wear it over their shirt and the weight is supposed to calm them.


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Something Else
Old 01-13-2012, 01:45 PM
 
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Great suggestions by PPs. One thing you may want to try is talking to your entire class without that student present. Maybe the counselor or nurse can keep him for a few minutes while you have a talk with your class. Then you can explain that people are different and some people cannot control the way they behave so it might look like they are "getting away with it" but really, it's how their body/brain functions and you cannot punish people for that. (You don't even have to use his name.) Something to that affect.... Maybe your counselor can even do the talk. I had a ED child who kept trying to kill himself in my room (among other things) and students probably did think he got away with a lot of things (like cutting all of his papers into pieces and tossing them in the air like confetti). I had to tell my class that he was different and we were working on it (and we had to have an emergency plan in case I needed the students to exit quickly if he started getting hostile). It worked but that kid eventually got sent to an institution so he wasn't with me for that long.
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Over active student
Old 08-03-2012, 02:02 PM
 
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I had a very active student this year and I know the feeling: can't sit still, plays with the fidget, distracts other students. One of the things I did with him that seemed to work was having frequent movement breaks, not just for him but for my class.

Individual movement breaks could be delivering a note to the office, carrying a weighted backpack to the office, or counting his steps to a particular classroom. I also created a pathway for him to walk along when moving about the classroom, as he would often get distracted by other students. If possible, a second work space can also help as it breaks up the norm and adds a little movement. If I was leaving the room or doing something (ie. my computer/smart board wasn't working or I forgot a resource) I would tell him he had x amount of time to be as silly (physically only, no verbal) as he possibly could but when the time was up he had to stop.

For the whole class I would teach them simple actions to upbeat songs (kind of like Zumba). It was a great way to get their bodies and brains moving and they really enjoyed it as a reward for focused work time. I would also do yoga or slow songs to keep them more under control. Sometimes when they were really hyper I would have the students do intense physical activity for a short period of time like running on the spot or jumping jacks. Occasionally, this activity would just get them hyped up even more so time outs or cool downs for the whole class were necessary.

One of the things about active students is definitely always changing it up. Things can't become too familiar. Hope some of those ideas help.
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