Thursday, July 18, 2013

Throwback Thursday-Teaching the Moving Child

I am linking up with Cara at The First Grade Parade for Throwback Thursday.

 I thought this would be a good one to revisit, as many of us will be going back to start a new year wayyyy tooo sooon in the next few weeks.

Teaching the Moving Child

We had a very informative class the other day with our OT, discussing the book Teaching the Moving Child by Sybil M. Berkey. 

She shared some great new ideas that I am going to try in my classroom, and other ideas that I have heard, but sometimes forget to use.  Here are some of my favorites:

1. Use golf pencils or broken crayons to help children use correct finger grip.
Broken crayons kind of make me cringe. :)  I could have named my blog "Sharp Pencils and Brand New Crayons,"  because those are two things I LOVE.  OK- even more honestly, it could have been named "Sharp Ticonderoga Pencils and Brand New Crayola Crayons." But that would never fit on a button. :)

 However, cringing aside,  I do see the benefit of using these smaller writing tools for children who need help or reminders using the correct grip.  If a crayon or pencil is small, children can't get all of their fingers around it, and therefore are "forced" to use a correct grip.  This is an especially good tip to remember at the beginning of the year.

I don't have any golf pencils now, but here is a picture of my husband and son on a typical weekend, so I don't think I should have too many problems collecting some this summer! 

2.  Have children write in a prone position (lying on the floor with a clipboard) or standing and writing on a wall space to put their wrists in proper position.

I tried this one and you can see it does position the child's arm and wrist correctly.  I do have a couple children who have "floppy wrists" or who bend their wrists around when they write.  Lying on the floor makes them rest on their forearm and keep their wrist in the right position.  This isn't practical all the time, but I could definitely have them do this more during center times or certain writing times.  I didn't like the wall writing as much probably because I don't have much wall space and the paper has to be at the perfect height for them so they aren't reaching up  or stooping down, which defeats the purpose. 

3. Have over-active children do "chair push-ups" or push against a wall to remain calm and more focused.
We do like a good "Chair Push-Up" break now and then!  My whole class does this together. I have a couple children who benefit from this the most, but it is fun and helpful for everyone- as well as a challenge! They love to see who can stay up for a long time.
We have a ball with the Wall Push.   I don't have much wall space, but we all line up quietly and walk around the corner in our hall, where there are no classrooms.  We try to push the wall as hard as we can.  I tell them we are trying to make Miss Quick's classroom smaller by pushing in the wall!   They really think we have moved that concrete wall over.  Sorry, Miss Quick, for your shrinking room! :)
Again,  this is a great "brain break" for everyone in the class!  Who doesn't feel like pushing a wall every now and then? One good thing about doing this in the hall is that I tell them we have push really hard, but be quiet, so they aren't screaming- but putting the effort into the physical exertion.
We had so much fun with this yesterday.  We had a "picky" little week. I think we have had too much togetherness and just got a little cranky with each other, as any "family" does.   I read Mean Soup (another FAVORITE!).

 The story is about a boy who had a very frustrating day. His mother suggests that they make soup together, which he does not want to do at first.  She boils water on the stove, adds a little salt,  and screams into the water.  Then, she has him do it. They both scream louder into the "soup" until they feel better.  After that, the mother decides they should stick their tongues out twenty times into the soup- which, we, of course, did as well. (I actually made tally marks each time we stuck out our tongues-  MATH!)  What a fun idea to get out some frustration! We also took out our frustrations on the wall.  Again, sorry, Miss Quick! :)  We are SURE your room is at least a foot smaller by now. 
I make it sound like my class was a bundle of FRUSTRATION- but actually, they are fabulous! We just had lots of fun trying out some great techniques to relieve stress.  We all felt better. :)  
Other good suggestions for an overly-active child were to have him/her do more physical jobs for you in the classroom, like wipe down tables, push in chairs, or carry heavy objects (like a small stack of books) for you in the hallway.  Kids love to be helpers, and this is a way for a child to be a helper and have some physical stimulation. 
(ok... maybe just a small stack!)
I found some more great songs on Youtube for our Shake Breaks.  Here is the Children's Zumba Dance from The Learning Station:   LOTS of fun!
We also danced to Going on a Bear Hunt and  this one- Hold Still by Just Dance Kids.

I added these to my Get Up and Move Prezi.  I put all of my favorite Shake Breaks together in a Prezi so they will all be right there for any quick minutes we need one!  Sometimes I want one FAST- and I don't want to search  for it.  This way, I have them ready to go! My    Get Up and Move Prezi  is available at my TPT store.
Thank you for visiting! 
Happy Teaching,

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