My classroom is a special education classroom for elementary aged students who have social-emotional disabilities and who have experienced profound trauma.
I have some amazingly resilient students in my classroom.
School used to be a terrible place for my students. When they come to me and my program, they’ve experienced rejection and hardships on many levels and expect it to continue. Yet, they quickly realize that things can be different than before. My staff and I look at each child individually and as a whole person. If they are hungry, we give them extra food. If they are tired, we let them take naps. We ask about their night and reference their interests throughout the day. We provide help to them on their level either emotionally, socially, or academically. With all of these supports in place, the students thrive. They stop needing tangible prizes for good behavior but find genuine interactions with their peers the reward. After a while students who were in a separate classroom full time with a one-on-one paraprofessional are now out in their grade level class without additional personnel where they are making friends, learning, being safe, and most of all being a kid.
Students are constantly fidgeting with items in attempts to focus or to calm down. Unfortunately, my room doesn't have a set of fidgets for students to access when needed. Some students bring items from home which means we don't have the consistent benefit of using them. Most of my students don't have the means to purchase them, so we use what we can make out of balloons or other DIY versions of fidgets.
The use of fidgets can calm a chaotic heart and assist the mind in focusing.
Both are powerful assets of something so simple as fidgets. My students will benefit emotionally and academically from these nifty little things!
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