Friday, October 11, 2013

SQUIRREL: Distractions in Our Day





Just as Doug, the talking dog in Pixar's "Up!", experiences distractions in his life - so do all of us in our daily lives.  According to this study completed by ars technica and published in the New York Times, it can take up to 15 minutes to get your mind back on track after you've been distracted.  That's a lot of wasted time!  My goal for this lesson was to help third graders identify which daily distractions interrupt their school work and how we can be proactive in eliminating them.

I began by reading the hilarious book, This Morning Sam Went to Mars written by Nancy Carlson.  This is a fun real aloud that visually grabs students and puts them in the middle of Sam's wild imagination.  After struggling to pay attention in life, Sam's dad and doctor help him come up with strategies to work on being more successful each day.


Then the fun began.  I brought in Ned.  Who is Ned you might ask?  Ned is originally from the game, "What's in Ned's Head?"  I took this large "head" and filled it with common distractions that occur throughout the school day, such as lawnmowers, friends sharpening a pencil, etc.

 (This is Ned)


Students loved seeing me reach into his ears and his nose to pull out the next distraction.  As I revealed each card, we discussed whether or not this is a distraction that we create inside our brains or is it a distraction in our environment.  We added our decisions to a chart to organized our thinking:


Once the distractions were organized, we talked about what we have control over (ourselves) and what we do not have control over (everything else).  Although we don't have control over our environment, there are some strategies we can use to lessen their interruption (ask them to stop, use kelso's choices, switch seats, etc.)  We then brainstormed ways to blast these distractors out of our minds and refocus:

17 comments:

  1. Do you have link for all these activities? I would really like to do this with my social skills group?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I just added links above for you. :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much! This will be fantastic, it goes perfectly with our Braineater discussion.

      Delete
  2. I can not get the distractors and my distractor blastors worksheets. They are not in the link.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm. I just clicked on both of the links for each and they worked. One link is labeled "This is what I filled Ned's head with" and the other is labeled "PDF of Handout." They are both located beneath each respective picture. Do you have Adobe Acrobat downloaded on your computer? Each of the files are .pdf format.

      Delete
  3. I had to update Adobe. It works now. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is awesome! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this idea! Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is great! I can't wait to do this lesson. Where in the world did you get Ned's Head?
    bpesce@wsfcs.k12.nc.us

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I found it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ideal-Whats-Neds-Head-Game/dp/B000096RFF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450124412&sr=8-1&keywords=ned%27s+head

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. You're welcome! I've also used it with safety lessons - what do we keep as a secret and what do we need to report to adults. Have fun with it!

      Delete