“Oopsies!” This is something that I would hear from one of my students at least once a day. This student would not be paying attention and would miss an important direction or not know what to do for an assignment. This student had ADD and was not taking any medication, which made it very difficult for him to focus for extended periods of directions or instruction.
I introduced the “brain freeze” pass to this student in order to lessen his anxiety about not knowing what to do because he was not focused on my directions.
This student started with three brain freeze passes a day and handed them to me (privately, not in front of the entire class) when he needed a reminder about what to do.
By the end of the year, the student only needed one brain freeze pass to be successful during the school day! Although this student kept his brain freeze passes under his nametag, I also left other brain freeze passes for other students at the calm down corner, next to the five minute fidget passes. Part of my job was to document the frequency that this student (or any other student) wanted to use the brain freeze pass. I also document my observations about when the student is requesting a brain freeze pass. For example, is it during a specific subject? A specific part of the day? I always begin to see a pattern for when the student is asking for the pass. I have also used these documentation forms to record observations about a student who I suspected was having absence seizures. During small group reading instruction, whole group math instruction, a read aloud….you name it. I would notice several times throughout the day that this particular student would simply look like she was “spacing out” or daydreaming, not paying attention, for up to about 7 seconds. It was very subtle, but I knew something serious could be going on. I worked with this student by introducing the brain freeze passes to her. Since she had signs of anxiety to begin with, the passes helped to ease her mind when her brain “froze” and she missed the question or a direction. I was then able to take my anecdotal notes to our first RTI meeting for this student and share my observations, which began getting this student the help she needed.
The ideas presented in this file are taken from my file, Classroom Management Strategies for your (anxious, angry, joyful, hyperactive) Kiddos.
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Do you have students that would benefit from brain freeze passes? I would love to hear from you!