View Full Version : Tapping Pencils=no talking?


Proud2BAteacher
05-18-07, 03:20 PM
Hi all,
I saw something very interesting today. My class went to the program "art goes to school today" ( it's where a speaker comes and talks about dif. art work. You may or may not know, that I have a total 4 ADD/ADHD kids already labeled in my class. Today I saw something that shocked me...

One of the girls in my class is labeled as hyperactive type. She is always talking when I am talking. Standing when I am talking...sitting like a frog when I am talking. Just never both feet on the ground...well you get what I am saying now.


Now back to the thing that shocked me, during the Art goes to school presentation. She was sitting so quiet which just blew me away! ( she is not on any medication as of now) She was not turning around to look at others or talk to them. She was just simply staring at the speaker!! Why was she so attentive? The whole time she was tapping her pencil on the desk...now I was told at many workshops to IGNORE all any fidgets they do? Do you think I was wrong for not saying anything. I just thought that if she was paying attention that it was fine, she was still sitting like a frog though! It annoyed me a little...but her talking would have annoyed me more then the tapping of a pencil on the desk. She did this the whole presentation, paying attention perfectly.

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT TAPPING YOUR PENCIL ON YOUR DESK CAN HELP YOU FOCUS?

It amazes me!

FightingBoredom
05-18-07, 05:56 PM
If the pencil tapping is distracting or annoying to others--have you thought of experimenting with something to replace the pencil?

You should try giving her a small piece of silly-puddy or some play-doh or a pipe cleaner or something else that is quiet but physically engaging. Ask her to use it in place of tapping the pencil. See what happens.

If she learns to use it as a tool to help her be more engaged and not as a toy then it will help her, you and the rest of the class.

I'd be interested in knowing if that works.

Proud2BAteacher
05-18-07, 07:36 PM
Okay! Thanks fightingboredom...I will try to replace it with something quieter.

I'll let you know!!!

ADDitives
05-19-07, 08:45 AM
Proud... from your comments, I can see you don't have ADD yourself.

Sometimes an extra stimulus can HELP us focus. It could be that we actually don't have ENOUGH stimulation.

Sometimes I look out a window and listen better (though at other times, I don't listen at all while looking out a window). Maybe walking around can help.
Maybe she feels more comfortable sitting like a frog. Maybe the tapping is rhythmical and relaxing for her.

Or perhaps, she wasn't listening to the art person... it just APPEARED that way. Remember.... "looking" does not equal "listening", but on the other hand, "not looking" also does not equal "not listening".

Imnapl
05-19-07, 11:18 PM
. . .now I was told at many workshops to IGNORE all any fidgets they do?No kidding? Were these workshops on ADHD?

I have ADHD. I HATE hearing a tapping pencil when I am trying to focus on anything. Quiet fidgets don't bother me. Those stretchy bracelets with positive slogans on them are popular with kids now and they work as a quiet fidget toy.

Imnapl
05-19-07, 11:20 PM
One of the girls in my class is labeled as hyperactive type.As in Attention Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder or from other causes?

Proud2BAteacher
05-20-07, 08:05 AM
As in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder. Why?

Imnapl
05-20-07, 03:54 PM
As in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder. Why?When you posted this:

One of the girls in my class is labeled as hyperactive type. She is always talking when I am talking. Standing when I am talking...sitting like a frog when I am talking. Just never both feet on the ground...well you get what I am saying now.I wasn't sure you were speaking of ADHD.

Tiddlywinks
12-08-07, 09:44 PM
The sitting like a frog is a way for her to integrate all of her senses in order for her to even begin to pay attention. Deep tissue pressure allows the brain to integrate every thing coming into her brain. The pressure of her body weight on her legs is a form of deep tissue pressure. An alternative could be to place a large book such as a dictionary in her lap.

The drumming of pencils or fingers is a physical outlet for energy that must take place for the individual to be able to consentrate.

As for the pencil tapping, if the pipe cleaner or pladough didn't work, try placing a mouse pad or sponge on the desk for her to tap on. This worked in my classroom that had 5 "drummers". The sound (which I am hypersensitive to) about sent me over the edge. By the end of a semester, the students were asking for the mouse pad.

Proud2BAteacher
12-15-07, 06:26 PM
The sitting like a frog is a way for her to integrate all of her senses in order for her to even begin to pay attention. Deep tissue pressure allows the brain to integrate every thing coming into her brain. The pressure of her body weight on her legs is a form of deep tissue pressure. An alternative could be to place a large book such as a dictionary in her lap.

The drumming of pencils or fingers is a physical outlet for energy that must take place for the individual to be able to consentrate.

As for the pencil tapping, if the pipe cleaner or pladough didn't work, try placing a mouse pad or sponge on the desk for her to tap on. This worked in my classroom that had 5 "drummers". The sound (which I am hypersensitive to) about sent me over the edge. By the end of a semester, the students were asking for the mouse pad.

Wow. I never thought of it like that, thank you so much for responding. I love all of your tips!

ADD_Pyrate_Gurl
12-18-07, 03:14 AM
I always tapped pencils, tapped my fingers, tapped my feet.... heck I'm tapping my foot right now as I lay here typing this... lol... One thing I noticed that helped me personally... and I didn't realise it until recently... but I love chewing gum! Sometimes I joke around and say I'm addicted to gum like people are addicted to ciggerettes. lol. I realised though recently that when I have a stick of gum to chew, I don't wiggle and tap and fidget around as much... it gives me something quiet to do and gives me a way to fidget without really fidgetting....

I know a lot of schools have a rule against gum... never really understood that rule... So I can see how tapping a pencil can help with not fidgetting, talking, etc.

Another thing you might be able to try is a stress ball. Buy a small stress ball and give it to her to squeeze and see if that has the same effect as pencil tapping.

One thing I noticed with myself at home, when I had homework to do, if I went to my room and turned on a CD or the radio laid down on my stomach on my bed and did my homework. My mom would yell at me to turn off the music... I was almost done with my homework by the time she realized I had the music on (it had been about an 1 1/2 hours as opposed to 4+ hours!). The music gave me something to focus on so that all the "noise" in my head quieted down and I was able to focus on my homework and get it done quicker.

Tiddlywinks
12-18-07, 03:06 PM
if I went to my room and turned on a CD or the radio laid down on my stomach on my bed and did my homework.

Mom used to make me lay on my stomach for naps so I wouldn't wiggle as much. To this day I still sleep on my stomach.

Teedrum
12-19-07, 06:39 AM
the more i move the better i focus...i like chairs that wiggle...if i can wiggle i can get things done

Wired
01-17-08, 04:21 PM
I have a bouncy/squishy stress ball that I use in class to help focus, my legs shake constantly, my profs permit me to go on 'Brain Walks' when I can expell some energy and then get back to work. Brain Walks are great, especially in secondary/post seconday. But in elementary school a student may have to be accompanied/supervised to make sure they come back to class.

Swede63
01-17-08, 05:32 PM
Without reading all the previous posts it sounds like she was hyperfocusing on a subject that trule interest her. The tapping probably helped her to stay attentive without her even knowing it. I speak from experience my own and my son's (ADHD)

arkyle
01-17-08, 08:18 PM
I sit in odd positions too. It's been a while since I sit like a frog. Now I just cross my legs in class; I think she has hyperfocus. Does she have tics or tourettes? Because I have. I used to tape my pencil too, A LOT. Now I throw it and catch trying to make it roll in the air, and usually in the same position. It's kinda obsesive; I'm not comfortable if it doesn't fall the way I want. I stopped taping my pencil because it's to hard for me now because my hand is way too big and I only use pacers now.

casper
01-18-08, 08:07 PM
I am a big leg bouncer. I figure its not nearly as distracting as a pencil tapping or something that makes noise like that. But I def agree, I Think it helps one with AD(H)D to focus. I was just telling someone the other day that walking on a treadmill and reading a book is great for one like myself. I know it sounds weird but try it...

Tara
01-18-08, 10:38 PM
I Highly recommend the book "Fidget to Focus"!