View Full Version : Fidgeting


Proud2BAteacher
12-26-08, 03:42 PM
Hi all,

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season. I do not post too much but when I do I always receive great advice.

I had a problem the other day with a student banging, tapping and making loud noises with a stop watch. She was doing it for 20 minutes straight. I finally said enough and removed the object. I told her I did not want it to break. What is the reason for her doing this? She was literally tapping it and making a loud noise. It was so hard for me to concentrate on the lesson.

I would like to know why this action was done and what can I do to prevent it.

Thanks!

ginniebean
12-26-08, 03:44 PM
I don't know why this student was doing it, I do know I do tapping and some noise making because it makes me feel calm.

RedHairedWitch
12-26-08, 04:19 PM
If the child has AD/HD she simply cannot help it, think of a motor set to high gear and cant down shift. Sitting is torture, must MOVE! Tapping, kicking, fidgeting and making noise help to release all that energy. You can't make an AD/HD child not need to move, but you can give her something like a stress squeezey ball or anything along those lines for her to use rather than a noisy watch.

blueroo
12-26-08, 08:14 PM
Has the child been diagnosed with anything? We can't even begin to give advice about this without even having a background. There are dozens of conditions that could lead to this behavior.

QueensU_girl
12-26-08, 08:16 PM
How many hours of gym are these kids getting each week? Physical Activity reduces bothersome behaviours in many children. And improves learning and concentration!

PRETTYINPUNKYx8
12-31-08, 06:49 PM
Depending on what subject you teach she may have just needed some stimulation. I often found myself rocking in my chairs, clicking my pencils, playing piano on my desk, etc. just because I was bored.

If you need some ideas as to how to get your kids up and moving and learning more effectively I'm great at coming up with activities for the different learning modalities. You can PM me with lessons you're working on and I'll try to think of something! Trust me the kids WILL appreciate it!

A1A5KA
06-14-09, 06:07 PM
Hi Proud2Bateacher,

I don't know if anyone is still following this thread, but I wanted to give my $.02 worth. I am not a teacher. I am a college student and, of course, have known quite a few teachers over the years. I was miserable in elementary school and high school. Two years ago, at the age of 36, I finally found out why. I have ADHD - Combined Type. To paraphrase Fiddler on the Roof...It doesn't change a thing, but even so, after 36 years, it's nice to know!

For me, my ADHD is sort of like a SeeSaw. On one side you have ADHD-Primarily Inattentive and on the other side you have ADHD-Primarily Hyperactive. And we Combined Types bounce back and forth between the two side. Balancing in the middle would be nice, but it never seems to work that way. Some days I'm very hyperactive and some days I'm very inattentive.

As an adult with hyperactivity I am better able to notice when and why I get fidgety. I'm hoping I might be able to give some insights that will help you and your student. So, from that point of view, and looking back on my own childhood, let me answer your question:

I had a problem the other day with a student banging, tapping and making loud noises with a stop watch. She was doing it for 20 minutes straight. I finally said enough and removed the object. I told her I did not want it to break. What is the reason for her doing this? She was literally tapping it and making a loud noise. It was so hard for me to concentrate on the lesson.

I would like to know why this action was done and what can I do to prevent it.Here's what I've discovered about fidgeting"

1) When and where and for how long I feel hyper can be completely random. There's nothing that I did to make it happen and no amount of planning and promising will prevent it from happening in the future.

2) While I don't have control over the fact that I will get hyper, I can control what I do about it .

3) As an adult, I have learned certain coping behaviors and scheduling tricks to help me. Your students, who not only have to sit in a classroom for hours at a time but also are not yet mature physically, socially or emotionally, will need lots of help from you.

4) I have found that when I get hyper, it's as if I have a lot of extra energy that gets built up and just has to be released. It can be released in one of three ways"

a) Physically banging, tapping and making loud noises
b) Verbally (This is ME, I admit it, I'm a Chatterbox!)
c) Mentally (Totally distracted, mind racing off in a million directions)

Well, the problem for a grade school, middle school, or high school student with ADHD is that banging, tapping, making noises, getting up without permission, talking too much, talking out of turn, jumping up and down, kicking, hitting, yelling, throwing things, etc, etc, etc. have all been deemed NOT ALLOWED. Which means that we can't get rid of all that extra energy Physically or Verbally. The only thing that is left is Mentally. But then the teacher tells us to pay attention! We can't!!! You are asking us to use our minds to both focus in and pay attention to a particular subject and at the same time to run into overdrive getting rid of a ton of excess energy.

5) I have found that when I am hyper, I am better able to concentrate and learn if I can do something physical or verbal to get rid of that excess energy. It sounds to me as if your student is having the same problem. So here are my suggestions for how you, as the teacher, can help them to get rid of that energy physically and verbally so that their mind is free to concentrate on your lesson.

- Your student actually had the right idea with the watch, they were trying to get rid of excess energy so that they could concentrate better. The problem was that the noise was distracting everyone else. So why not encourage them to fiddle with a foam ball or a large rubber band or a comb or a plastic toy? I can tell you that it's not about making noise, it's about having SOMETHING to do with your hands!

- Find reasons to let your student get up and work off some energy. Let them run errands, pass out and collect papers and supplies, deliver messages, etc, etc.

- Work out a signal between the two of you so that they can discretely tell you that they just can't sit still a moment longer and you know that you need to find them something to do, even if it is just to stand outside the door, do 20 jumping jacks and then sit back down.

- Encourage them to take notes (physical) and to ask and answer questions (verbal). This will help them to maintain their concentration and focus on what you are teaching.

I hope this is helpful to you or to any other teachers who read this!

Amy