Monday, October 17, 2011

Three Types of Therapy to Motivate Students

Three Types of Therapy to Motivate Students are: Touch therapy, music therapy and visual therapy. In my experience, these tools have proved beneficial in the achievement of my students.

   1. Touch therapy can be used in the classroom with wisdom. Many teachers employ touch therapy as part of the morning routine. Shaking the hand or giving a high five to each student as they walk through the door proves very beneficial in building that necessary teacher/student relationship required for learning. We must be very careful in this day and age with hugs and light touches in the regular classroom. However, with the developmentally delayed students touches are a necessary part of their learning. Lightly touching a student's hand or arm or leg can give them the stimulation they need to respond to an instruction to move. Sometimes smoothing on lotion can calm a child to get them to perform the task required. When working in preschool and especially with developmentally delayed students touch is very important. Pulling a child close or holding a hand can calm the child and get them to do the necessary task required.

   2. Music therapy can enhance a classroom environment. Carefully chosen music can lift spirits and encourage students to work. I was in a classroom where a teacher used a play list on his computer as the background music for his class. His selection of music worked very well until the commercial came on. I had a wonderful collection of Mozart that I loved, however, when I brought it to the classroom I found I could not use it because the variety of loud and soft passages in the music distracted my students. Once I had a visiting student and he said the violins in the music made him feel sad. I have also found some religious music could be used if it was instrumental only. That way the words were not offensive to the certain students. A collection of music may not work for every class every time. Each class is different. I can tell when the music is right when my students are working and happy.

   3. Visual therapy is an interesting concept. Having scenes of nature and cool colors can calm students and help them learn better. I have to remember to keep the number of scenes down. Too many beautiful pictures can be distracting and that defeats the purpose of the calm environment. Bright colors are used often in preschool classrooms especially because the students are learning their colors. Cool colors versus warm colors stimulate a calm environment. Visual therapy also helps with healing. Therefore if I have students that are struggling emotionally at home coming to a calm environment at school relieves some of the tension. Visual therapy differs from vision therapy. Vision therapy is done by ophthalmologists and can be very helpful to students when there is a vision problem. Visual therapy is something a teacher can employ to calm a class and create a valuable learning environment. Some parents think exploring sensory therapy first can eliminate the need for behavior therapy and interventions.

In my experience I have found these three types of therapy very beneficial to motivating the learning of my students. The three types of therapy are: 1. Touch therapy. 2. Music therapy. 3. Visual therapy.