Today, we're excited to have a guest post from Pam Jarvis, M.Ed, a gifted educator. Here's a little about Pam:Pam Jarvis, proud mother of five and grandmother of 6, is the founder of Shady Oak Learning. She received her BS in Speech Therapy from West Texas A&M University and her M.Ed in Special Education from Abilene Christian University. Pam also has training and certifications through Brain Workout Challenge, Schools Attuned, Brain Gym, Bal-Vis-X, Luke Waits Center for Dyslexia, Structure of Intellect, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
While working with children in home education, private school settings and public education, Pam had a vision of creating an environment where all children could learn in the way God designed them. Shady Oak Learning is a place where individualized instruction, multi-sensory learning and brain based therapies combine to help students realize their true potential.
Several years ago I attended Athena Oden’s Ready Bodies Learning Minds workshop. Athena is a gifted physical therapist who is passionate about bringing knowledge of motor skill training to teachers in the everyday school setting. In addition to the valuable knowledge about screening students for possible motor skill deficits that are related to learning disabilities, Athena gave us some practical ideas to be able to use right away in our own schools.
One idea that I implemented immediately was what I call the “Foot Fidget”. I have tried sensory balls, squeezable fidgets, etc. for the hand, but usually my students ended up tossing the ball or playing so much with the fidget that their attention wandered. I was thrilled when I noticed students were focused without distracting others when they rubbed their feet on the smooth wooden balls. It has been my experience that students get more benefit when they take off their shoes. Especially during state testing or tasks requiring great concentration this tool is a lifesaver. It is easy and cheap to make! I hope you like it as much as my students do!
Click here to download tutorial for making the Foot Fidget.