Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fidgets.....do you use them?

This year was my second year at the elementary level. One item that I find I am using more and more for my students who struggle with attention and movement is a fidget. I have experimented with all kinds of objects including small squeeze balls, balloons filled with flour or rice, erasers, small rubber toys. If it is small, doesn't make noise and can stay in the hands of one of my students, well then in my eyes, we have a fidget!

I have found that the biggest problem with the fidget is that it can quickly become a distraction to the classroom and other students if I don't take time to teach my students how to use a fidget properly. This, my friends, is when the fidget rules were created. I found a 3 or 4 page social story online, but have since lost the link. I decided that I needed a one page sheet that I could read to my students and give copies to the general education teachers and instructional assistants as well.

Here is a copy! I will be posting it on TPT soon so that you can download it. Tell me what you think! I considered adding pictures of items that could be a fidget, but decided that I wanted the story to be read quickly and not have a lot of distractions on it. Hope you find this useful!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Classroom Set Up!

Welcome to my room! We transitioned from calling it the Resource Room to the Learning Center. Not sure why. I guess because we felt the Learning Center better represented what was happening in our room. 

So here is a glimpse of my set up. I am always changing my room, but these two areas stay about the same.

 This is our break area. Inside the tent, there is a mat, lycra bag and a weighted blanket. I never use this area for a negative consequence. This is a safe place for the students to come and take a break when they are overwhelmed. I am working with one student with Autism to teach him to use the 5 point scale. When he hits a 4 in the frustration his favorite thing right now is the lycra bag!

This is my group work area. This year I used a modified Writers Workshop during the 30 minute intervention times that I worked with students. I combined writing and reading strategies during my instruction. The students write in this area. The multi-colored drawers in the background hold all the writing paper. I had to make procedures and expectations clear for the students using the ball chairs and I still have to limit the use sometimes, but the movement is really good for the kiddos.