Sunday, March 29, 2015

He has what?! Sensory in a 1st grade classroom

As I look finish out my 7th year of teaching, I found myself completely lost when our Occupational Therapist came into my room to observe a student.  This particular student had been referred for an evaluation for handwriting issues.

Within a couple minutes and observing many other students she had asked if I did Brain Breaks. Why yes, thanks for asking, we LOVE ourselves some GoNoodle.  Koo Koo Kanga Roo anyone?!  We can't skip a morning or afternoon without it especially since it feels like moons ago was the last time we had outdoor recess.

As I patted myself on the back for doing something that I thought would benefit my class, I proudly asked her "Why?"

Pointing out the behaviors she started to explain that she noticed a lot of my students were seeking more "input".  Input. Ok, I got this...I can explain more about what we are reading, not a problem! In fact tomorrow in our small group, I will make sure that each student receives more input about their reading. Right? Ok how about completely wrong.

Little did I know, this term "input" had nothing to do with me at all.

She started talking about "Sensory".  My mind started flipping through the card catalog of terms from my undergraduate to my current graduate classes trying to place the term sensory. And then I couldn't.  Never studied anything about it, couldn't tell you a thing about it.  I had no idea what she was talking about or how the heck I was going to help these students.

Please tell me someone out there is with me on this one...

I started my search googling what she was talking about because of course with the limited time this sweet women has in our building she didn't have time to give me a Sensory 101 lesson in the 15 minute time frame she was there to observe the particular student.

And I came upon this awesome graphic to teach me more about sensory.  Check it out.  

Oh, there is that little term, "input" in more 1st grade teacher friendly terminology.  BUT I still don't get it. Someone please oh please help! Our OT is only in our building for less than 2 whole days and on those days she is seeing students so how will she ever have time to educate me.  The teacher she just told that she saw multiple sensory needs for.  

Then it clicked. A good friend, amazing mother, Occupational Therapist, and fabulous blogger over at Your Kids Table was literally a phone call away. Panicked I called asking her to put this in "Allison terms" because I simply don't know how I can help my students.

Within moments, she calmed me down and was beyond excited to partner with me to help my students in need.

The next couple posts will be a collaboration of what to look for, how we can accommodate Sensory
Procession Disorder in our classrooms, and questions/answers as well as advice from an Occupation Therapist.

What questions do you have about sensory?  Do you have students with sensory needs? I would love to hear what you are seeing your classrooms!

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