Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Are students in your class restless?   I have a few tips for you.  

If children like to tap on the desk, place an upside down mouse pad on their workspace.   This will absorb the sound and allow them to continue.   Another alternative is suggesting that they tap on the top of their thigh.  

If you are able, keep an empty space at the back of your classroom for children who need to simply stretch their legs.   Additionally, having a bookcase or cart in this location allows students to stand up and work for a bit.   I know this sounds like a recipe for disaster, but I've never had a child misuse this option.

If you like to stretch, leading kids in a simple yoga move that I refer to as the "Harold and the Purple Crayon" is beneficial.   You clasp your hands together with your pointer fingers pointing and aim them at the ceiling.   Imagine that you are holding a purple crayon.   Draw circles on the ceiling while keeping your arms next to the sides of your head and swivel at the hips.   Namaste.

If you have a stress ball collection secreted in your desk, share these valuable tools with the fidgeters.

If you have a doodler, allow the art to continue as long as it's not a task-avoidance behavior.

According to neatoday's fall 2011 issue, a teacher and an ergonomic furniture company have collaborated on an adjustable-height desk.   Another teacher used old car tires to make do-it-yourself footrests.   And get this: one North Carolina elementary school has gathered used exercise bikes.   Now students get to "Read and Ride" for 15-minute intervals.  

You're creative!   What will you come up with next?

P.S. Today I learned a new trick from our chorus students.   We tried this in between some standardized testing.   It's a countdown coordination exercise.  

Shake your right hand while counting down 5-4-3-2-1.  
Repeat with your left hand, right foot and left foot.  
Then you count down from 4 and repeat the process.  
Then 3.  
Then 2.


  1. Oh goodness. Tears, here. Can you possibly teach my child when it's time?!?! Oh how I loved this post! I so get this, and think back to when I was teaching...... several of my students were fidgety, and so I allowed them to take their tests standing at their desk as long as they weren't making any noise. The other kids were so great with this, and it helped calm the entire classroom. :) Love it.

  2. I get restless myself. We did some ceiling circles today after our first Explore test. Of course, I will teach your child! That's a big honor when parents feel that way.