After using the idea of an ‘attention bucket’ (which was passed on to me by colleagues at school), I looked further into the Attention Autism approach and found this inspiring video of a talk by the founder, Gina Davies.
The Attention Autism approach focuses on developing attention and listening skills and giving the children “an irresistible invitation to learn”.
An ‘attention bucket’ is a bucket full of motivating and exciting toys and gadgets which will be of high interest to the children. Gina suggests that the adult in front of the children with the attention bucket must be the most interesting thing in the room so everything else must be out of sight. I am currently thinking of new toys and gadgets to put into my attention bucket but this will depend on my new class. At the moment I have wind up moving toys, light up toys, a spinning top, toys that make noises and toys with balloons (e.g. balloon cars). Here are some of the items in my bucket:
The adult with the attention bucket demonstrates one toy at a time in front of the children, for example, winding up a toy snake and then watching the snake move. The reward must be intrinsic to the activity – the enjoyment of watching the snake. If a child gets up out of their seat they are gently, non verbally guided back. This is to encourage attention and listening skills. Gina suggests using 5 toys in each short session. With my last class I usually had an attention bucket session once every morning and once every afternoon. Attention bucket activities are also good to use to refocus the group.
I have written more about the Attention Autism approach in the post: Attention Autism stage 1: attention bucket video and comments from creator Gina Davies
There is a lot of great information on Gina Davies website: Attention Autism
Please feel free to share your resource ideas for the ‘attention bucket’ in the comments below!