Allison's Book Bag

Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets by Barbara Esham

Posted on: October 10, 2012

After reading two books in the Everyday Geniuses series by Barbara Esham, I was starting to worry about the fact I still had two left to read. With the first book, I disliked the title. With the second book, I took exception to the ease with which Max solved his math struggles. My over all impression of the set wasn’t looking so good. Then I read Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets. It won me over!

Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets is about David, who struggles with paying attention in class. When Esham first introduces him, David is making noises with his pencil and distracting the class. Or at least that’s what his teacher thinks. As far as David is concerned, he just wanted to see how many times he could roll his pencil to the edge of his desk without it falling off. Next, he is making a mess with his pudding in the cafeteria. Or at least that’s how the adults around him see it. In David’s mind, he had merely wanted to see how much pressure the pudding lid would take. How was he to know that pudding could shoot to the table behind him? David is a kid who comes up with all kinds of creative ideas, many of which unfortunately don’t work out so well. And so he gets on everyone’s nerves. I”m sure you can think of more than one person like him.

Because he truly does mean well, David decides to come up with some cures for his “wiggle fidgets”. After all, brainstorming is one of his strengths. 🙂 Anyone who is a resource teacher should recognize these strategies:

  • Attention Cards: By putting reminder cards on his desk, David can cue himself to focus and leave “distracting ideas and thoughts alone” Some of those cards include words like:
    1. Focus and Listen
    2. Attention!
    3. Think About What We’re Working On!
    4. What are the Consequences?
  • Timer: If David knows how he needs to stay focused, he’ll stop wondering how about how he needs to stay focused.
  • Stress Ball: By giving David something small to fidget with, it helps him stay calm.
  • Movement: In David’s words, “Sometimes my legs feel like they’re going to run away with me. If I could just erase the chalkboard or hand out papers or…. my legs might not be so wiggly at my desk.”

Admittedly, this a pretty big plan for a primary student to come up with. Yet kids can surprise you. And even if it couldn’t really happen, I suspect young readers won’t care. They’ll instead latch on to the ideas and use them to improve their own behavior in school. They’ll also feel encouraged to hear that the ideas could help many of the peers and maybe even a few adults.

PS Be forewarned: Young readers might fall for the fun descriptive term of “wiggle fidgets”. We all know what means. You might have to endure hearing “wiggle fidget” for months!

My rating? Read it: Borrow from your library or a friend. It’s worth your time.

How would you rate this book?

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