Social Stories for Quiet Hands

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Teaching kids to keep their hands quiet can help them stay focused in class and relate respectfully to others. This lesson offers social stories that you can use for teaching quiet hands.

Using Social Stories

Are you frustrated with your students' struggle to keep their hands still or keep their hands to themselves? This can be a major disruption to classwork and instruction. At the same time, students often genuinely struggle to remember to keep their hands still and quiet, and they might need explicit instruction in what to do when their hands feel fidgety.

One way to address this issue is by incorporating social stories into your instruction. A social story is basically a hypothetical anecdote told from a child's point of view about a difficult social or behavioral issue. Through social stories, often including images, you can teach children language and strategies for managing complex scenarios that they are facing. The social stories in this lesson are examples designed to teach kids about quiet hands.

Quiet Hands in the Classroom

Every day, my teacher teaches us so many different things. We sit on the rug and listen to her lessons during reading, writing and math times, and we also have class meetings. I love to listen to the things my teacher has to say.

Sometimes, when I am listening, I start to feel fidgety. I move my hands around a lot when I feel fidgety. This is because fidgety feelings make me bored, curious or excited. Sometimes I tap my fingers, reach out around the classroom or even touch other people.

I know that being fidgety with my hands during a lesson is not okay. 'Quiet hands' is the rule for my classroom. This means I keep my hands still and I keep them to myself so that I can learn better. When my hands are quiet, I do not distract other kids, either.

If I feel like my hands are about to fidget, I might need a break. I send my teacher a signal and she lets me get a drink of water. Sometimes, I can quiet my hands by closing my eyes and taking a deep breath. I can also quiet my hands by sitting on them for a few seconds just to get the fidgety feeling out.

When I have quiet hands, I can focus better and I learn more from what my teacher is saying.

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