Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One of My All Time Favorites!

So when I was teaching I had a few students who you might say had "Hot Hands" aka had a hard time keeping their hands to themselves. Some of the difficulty was due to sensory needs and some was due to behavior.  I would see a lot of the incidents while in line going from here to there and in places like music class or assemblies where there weren't as many defined "personal space zones" like there were in my classroom (desks).  So I decided that something needed to be done.  I wanted to keep their hands busy so they were less likely to hit or pinch or what not but I also wanted there to be a visual reminder to keep their hands to themselves.  And I came up with (in my mind) the most brilliant idea!!  Thanks to the help of my staff at the time we were able to very quickly create a nice hands box!!!   (These images and materials are not the actual items I created when I I did not take pictures at the time and could not bring them with me because they were used for specific students-But these images are from Kimber, who created them after I made the recommendation and explained to her what it looked like and how it was used in my classroom.) In addition my surpervisor has since created these for some other classrooms in the there.  I am not the only one who likes the idea!  Here they are.
 The Nice Hands!

 So here is the nicely labeled box.  Telling the students what goes inside. 
 Inside there are a bunch of medical gloves filled with different textured objects.  Between myself and Kimber we used clay, playdough, beads, string, sand, moon-sand, rice, beans and much more.
Whenever it was time to line up, or sit in music or an assembly or the student seemed like they were having a little trouble I would ask them to choose a "Nice Hand".  They LOVED them.  They were enough to physically remind them to keep their hands to themselves while keeping their hands busy, making them less likely to touch another student.  For students who had sensory difficulties I would use these very proactively sometimes along with different accomodations.  For students who were having "Hot Hands" for other behavioral reasons I would often give them a "Nice Hand" before the difficult time but if they hit or poked I would take it away and remind them to have nice hands and when they showed me their hands could be nice I would give it back as reinforcement.  (That of course only worked with students who were motivated enough by them.) Plus whats more reinforcing than holding a hand right?  All of us have those sensory difficulties and need to squeeze or hold something every once in a while.  Maybe you need to go make yourself one!

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