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Transition to Holiday

Students have a difficult time at the end of the year.  Teachers would like to keep the kids working to maintain the routines, and to give structure to the day. However, the kids know that most marks are in, and they are not really motivated unless there is a real strong interest. So, you might see more hands-on projects. They are great, but require lots of support for some of our students. There might be difficulties around being organized enough to have the right materials. For some, the hands on approach has its own issues if you have difficulty with motor planning, fine motor issues or having to share materials or tools. All of these can lead to meltdowns.

Sometimes what is good and fun for some children, is chaos and anxiety for others. So, I know that I up the preferred activities. If I know that one project would present too much of a challenge for a student, I will offer an alternative product, or an alternative place to do the work. An older student could support a younger one. Especially good, is an older student who is having difficulties with behaviour in his/her class. It is a great esteem booster if they can show some leadership this way.

Another suggestion, is to let go of the project, and build in helpful activities: working in the Library. We have reduced the task demand for many of our students who act out, and they are helping out. Some teachers may feel a little funny about 'letting them get away with work', but really the alternative is anger, acting out, anxiety and consequences. I find if I give a little free time, some hands on helping tasks (delivering, picking up books, sorting blocks, inventory, cleaning shelves, collecting materials for the office, they are willing to do a short task, as a break!

It works with most kids. Try it out and let me know how you reduce the chances of negative behaviours from anxious children.