Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Slice of Israel / Try This Tuesday

Slice of Israel -Snow
Israel is an amazing country. It is small in area, yet you can find several different types of topography and climate here. We have everything from skier’s snow on Mt. Hermon, in the winter, to hot smothery desert dust storms in the summer. (These dust storms invariably first make their appearance as everyone finishes cleaning their houses for Passover, thus covering all the immaculately scoured kitchen surfaces with a layer of dust….)
Today I want to tell you about the snow.
Years ago, when I first told my Dad that it was snowing in Jerusalem, he facetiously commented, “Oh, that must be a ‘Zionist lie’….” Snow in Jerusalem is breath-taking. Since the city is not used to snow in significant amounts, the occurrence of a snowfall brings the city to a quiet standstill. Schools close, children romp in the snow, and the only vehicles on the road are emergency services.
Once, about 5 or 6 years ago, Jerusalem had a very good snowfall. One of my sons lives near the edge of the city, so another son (unmarried at that time) “organized” a car for himself, and spent the day driving family members (and friends) up to enjoy the few centimeters-deep snow surrounding their sibling’s apartment. Ricki was fascinated to see the white fluff, something she had until then only seen in books. All my humping that snow that doesn’t reach up to your knees is hardly worth the name went unheeded.
Where I presently live, on the coast, snow is virtually unheard of. Once, about 15 years ago, I remember there was a fall of sleet, which looked very similar to snow. Children were on their way to school at the hour that this occurred, and as if they were one, the schoolchildren inverted their open umbrellas (it had been raining), in order to catch the “snow”. Since snow doesn’t appear in many parts of the country, you can have adults who have never witnessed as much as a small snow flurry. Typically, when snow is predicted, teens enjoy traveling to Jerusalem to stay with relatives or friends, in order to witness the phenomenon.

Try This Tuesday
For targeting (and practicing) impulsive do-before-you-think schoolwork, one tiny tool is “mazes”. To do a maze properly, one needs to stop and look before continuing past any divergence of paths. So repeated use of mazes can help a child learn to control that impulse to continue, even when he is not sure of the correct action.
To help Ricki learn to pause, I put in all the intersections of the maze a red pen dot to remind her to “stop”. If I am sitting with her, I will say aloud:
“Stop. Pause. Think.”

When Ricki has a reading assignment, I put a stick-it note at the top of the page. It has a picture of a palm making the “stop” symbol. There I list the things she should be watching out to find.
This idea can be adapted for younger children. Preface what you are doing with them with an explanation. You can make a "stop" sign with your palm.
“Today we are looking at plants.”
“This game has many colors.” (if you are studying colors)
“Now we are going to spread cheese on your bread.”

Red “stop dots” with pen are also good for adding to dashed-line letters and numbers when teaching writing.


Anonymous said...

The snow sounds lovely - thanks for sharing about it. :)

I will definitely use the stop sign idea, and Michael enjoys mazes, but I have noticed that he wants to go too fast and gets frustrated, so the red dot sounds like a good idea!

mommytoalot said...

Great stop sign idea

Anonymous said...

I live in Canada- we have 3 feet
of snow on the ground and I am
shovelling out the driveway daily!
It won't start melting until April-
I can only dream of a place where
adults have never seen snow...
my daily wish is that the snowplow
won't go by again and leave a
snowbank at the end of the
Dreaming of summer in Ottawa

RivkA with a capital A said...

Impulsivity is also an ADD thing... My OT is constantly emphasizing the "rega hoshvim" stage. I often jump right into problem solving.

I love the idea of using mazes to help with it. Though, as an adult I am good at mazes but still have a tough time stopping and thingking before acting.

RivkA with a capital A said...

ps. isn't it funny how we value spontaneity but not impulsivity...