I'm writing today to discuss an amazing book written by Julia - It's Hard to Be a Verb!
This amazing story is about a young boy that we all know very well - a child who just can't....stop....MOVING! The story goes through his struggles and his daily life and all of the ways and reasons he gets in 'trouble'. It discusses how he just can't stop wiggling, and itching, and twitching and how he wants to stop - but he can't. This story is golden if you've ever had a child in your classroom, or even of your own, like this. It truly displays their thoughts and concerns and wantingness (not a word - but it should be for this sentence!) to be 'still'.
There have been too many times to count where I've told a student to 'focus' or 'settle down' or just plain old 'STOP!' forgetting the fact that they, well, can't. We forget that their bodies truly do not understand or know what it feels like to be 'calm'. Calm to them is completely different from what others think and feel is calm. It's true those itches and twitches just won't go away. As an educator, it is our job to find tricks and implement them into these students' daily routines to better allow them to deal with these wiggles rather than give consequences for something that they simply cannot control. I would like to give some tips, tricks, and even a lesson in this post. I apologize in advance for its length. Please feel free to bookmark it to come back and finish reading when you can!
There are TONS of suggestions and tips out there - the thing is, you will need to figure out what works for each student. Remember, what works for one won't work for them all. Below are some basic suggestions for different behaviors triggered by ADHD.
For students who have inattention problems:
- Try and help the student by making someone else other than the student to keep attention on the task
- Keep tasks short
- Break down assignments if needed
- Eliminate as many distractions as possible
- Make everything as engaging as you can.
For students who are hyperactive:
- Allow the student to move around as much as possible without being a distraction to others or interfering with the task
- Make work as interactive as possible
For students who are impulsive:
- Try not to emphasize speed on activities or assignments
- Promote thoughtful study strategies
- Keep your expectations realistic
- Keep the difficulty level appropriate for the child
- Spread seat work throughout the day instead of one specific time
Like I said, you probably have many other tips to go along with those - but they are the basics.
Better than that - I want to share something that truly does work with a LOT of ADHD students and then some! We call it our Remote!
Basically its a simple remote control that teaches the students many different strategies on how to control, prevent, and change their behavior. Students are given a copy of the remote to place on their desk permanently. After being taught separate lessons on what each button needs, students and teachers use the remote in the everyday routine of the classroom. This remote gives the students the necessary tools to succeed in the classroom. I've created a quick little guide on how to use the remote along with quick lesson ideas for each button on the remote control. On the last page are copies of the remote to use if you'd like. Just click the photo above to check it out! (Let me know if any links are not working!)
I truly hope you will check out this resource and more importantly, check out Julia's book - It's Hard to Be a Verb! With the story and the 'remote' hopefully your wiggly students will find themselves more in control of themselves. Please let me know if you have any questions on this program or the book! I'd love to hear any of your strategies as well! Make sure to leave a comment!
Thanks again to Laura Candler and Julia Cook! Make sure to check out the other teachers in the Blog Hop to learn more about Julia Cook's literature and some amazing ways to use them in the classroom!