Friday, May 27, 2011

The Art of Making Life Easier - Tying Shoes

I happened by this TED video this morning on tying shoes. Apparently most of us have been doing it the wrong way all of our lives. No, the incorrect way is not the bunny ear technique. Check this out:

Of course, I needed to grab my shoes to see if I was using the weakened knot method. Happily, I have been tying my shoes the correct way, so I will not have to reteach myself. If you are one of those unfortunate people who have been tripping on their shoelaces because of a faulty knot technique, consider making the change. You will have to establish a new motor memory pathway and it will feel awkward at first. All you need is 21 days to form a habit, so check back with me next month!

Last year, a fifth grade teacher approached me at the end of the school year. She said that a particular student in her room requested to talk to me about a sensitive topic. I wasn't sure what to expect when he came to me, but he confessed that he could not tie his shoes. He did not want others to know that this skill somehow got by him. Well, with a couple of weeks left of school, we had a dilemma. I asked him if he had access the internet at home. He assured me he did. I created this flip video, posted it on Vimeo and told him to practice it at home. He could replay it as many times as he needed.

The next week he saw me in the hall and said he was tying his shoes...success! That is the power of visual demonstration provided in a way to make it easily accessible.


Sean Sweeney said...

I do the two loops method! I need OT- or at least I will watch your video a bunch of times haha. Great idea Beth

School System Occupational Therapist in Virginia said...

Love it! Thx so much! K.

Your Therapy Source said...

Awesome idea to teach a skill that a child is motivated to learn. I love your solution - no class time missed, the 5th grader can do it at his own pace and promotes a huge sense of accomplishment for him. I will have to blog about this. Thanks for the inspiration.

Beth Lloyd said...

I have to dust this post off for another fifth grader getting ready to transition to the middle school. Have you guys seen the Ian Knot?