How ALERT are you right now?
- Can you identify and change your alertness for optimal learning in different situations?
- What type of sensory input do you seek to stimulate or soothe your mind?
- Do you need touch, movement, sound, sights or even eating?
It was a morning of rich learning last week, as the Elementary School Faculty worked with Kristi Troutman, Head of Occupational Therapy, from Olivia’s Place.
Over four hours, we learned about brain development and nervous system maturation, important aspects of sensory integration, and a wealth of practical strategies for supporting self-regulation in children.
Read on to find out more!
It is our goal to help all children take control of their learning. However, simply saying “sit still, listen and focus” is rarely helpful. We must teach many skills, such as identifying current states of alertness, knowing sensory preferences, using self-talk and imagery, practicing inhibition and being socially aware.
In the early years, teachers support children’s developing nervous systems with regular sensory input, movement, brain breaks and modeling of self-talk. As students head towards middle school, we teach them to track their own alertness and develop a toolkit of personal regulation strategies.
BISS teachers were fascinated by this topic and quickly began adapting the program to suit their own classes and individual students. They shared effective strategies, such as standing work-stations, music, lighting and flexible seating, which are currently in use at BISS.
As a staff, we agreed to continue honing our observation skills, in order to analyse students’ cues for sensory input and create responsive classrooms.
Thanks to Ms Inna, who organized this excellent trainer to impact teaching and learning at BISS.