Friday, September 7, 2012

The Hokey Pokey Fiasco (temporarily)

Yesterday I decided my kids could do the Hokey Pokey as their official "brain break" in our extremely long 2.5 hours in the afternoon without a break. They REFUSED!!! Who ever heard of such a thing?! All kids love the Hokey Pokey! What drove me nuts was that I was teaching it (or at least attempting to) with a purpose. I was teaching left/right today and it's a great game to help them learn before doing work on paper. I tried to call them over to stand in a circle and try it with me and they all wandered away or started stimming (for non-special ed teachers: that's when a kid with autism starts humming/flapping/going into their own world). I honestly gave up and we played Duck, Duck, Goose first. They loved Duck, Duck, Goose because they really like to sit, not stand for some reason. They won't even stand for centers. I think they are still tired from these long school days after summer break and a long weekend.

I took full advantage of the circle we were standing in and told them they couldn't go back inside until they tried my new game. We started the Hokey Pokey and they did it, but didn't seem to enjoy it, so after 2-3 rounds I let them go in and get back to seat work. Today on the other hand... my kids suddenly thought it was the greatest thing ever! So weird! I have the oddest batch of kiddos when it comes to moods. They can't decide if they love or hate something and it changes within seconds! We were working and when I said we could go out to do the Hokey Pokey for a break they ran to the door and lined up right away along with a small round of cheers! Thankfully it was a success today, just in time for the left/right lesson this afternoon! I think this group has a big fear of the unknown, and a short attention span when I try to explain how fun something will be. Yesterday contained lots of crying, and today was a super relaxed and cheerful day. Nice way to start my weekend. Did I mention how awesome my kids' parents are this year?! They make my life sooo much easier!!

Looky what I found at Target!!! These were 50% off on the dollar isle!! I got 4 of them for 50 cents! Perfect little whiteboards with lines for new writers. The kids thought it was so great they wanted to take them home! Just what I needed to motivate my new ABC writers!

This weekend I'll be creating a curriculum to teach social skills using picture books. I'll post freebies of my creations when they are ready. I'm planning it for a kid with autism, but really it can be used with any kid who needs a little help following the rules and making good choices.
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