Fidget Stones

pre-wedding.pngHow do you feel about fidget spinners?

In my opinion, the idea behind them is just what some students need. When they became popular I sat with my students and talked to them about why someone would need a fidget spinner (it’s not just a toy). I used myself as an example, as I always do with this subject, I constantly play with my ID badge or my necklace (my one friend from last year always liked to point this out). I can still teach and read stories even though I am fidgeting. I wanted my students to understand some people NEED to fidget and for others fidgeting is distracting. Let me clarify, I am NOT saying the student who is using a fidget distracts others instead, I’m saying the student themselves are distracted when they have a fidget. This also helped my students to understand fidgets are not toys.

They need to decide which is true for themselves.

1. I can fidget with something and still use active listening. I remember what was taught and didn’t spend any extra time completing my work.

2. When I fidgeted with something I sometimes missed what the teacher was saying or it took me longer to complete my work. 

It’s amazing to see that my 2nd graders as a class decided the only time to use Fidget Spinners was during recess and dismissal time. They recognized that they were more of a distraction. Now, I still had my friends that really could use a fidget. Yes, I like the concept of a fidget spinner. What I really mean is I like fidgets. I think the conversation from above is an important one to have with students. I understand that some students benefit from them. There are plenty of fidgets that are not distracting to others and more cost effective.

Let’s explore a quiet and possibly free option for students!

IMG_3490.JPGFidget Stones

As a kid living on the lake I always played with stones. You know those smooth ones?

I always had one that I would put in my hand and rub with my thumb. I can still find one that I had from high school.

These fidgets can be free if you go find some stones or relatively cheap. Bonus, rock painting has also become very popular. You can find a bag of stones from Wal-Mart or a local craft store. Here is a cheap set from my Amazon affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2eTD7Q7

I know it sounds crazy to bring stones into your classroom! Of course you need to set rules. We don’t want flying stones! I created a Fidget Stone, I Can Statement Poster just for this. You can grab it for FREE HERE

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Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 10.39.13 AM.pngMake sure to show the students what you want from each statement. Focus on the positive and how to use it not what not to do. Let them find a rock or pick from the stones you bought or collected. This will be their fidget stone. They need to responsibly choose from the 2 options above and follow expectations. Of course, as always this is a privilege and misuse can equal in it being taken away.

Get your copy of the I can poster plus a version with teacher notes all FREE.

I hope that you can find a fidget that fits your classroom. Feel free to share in the comments!

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Ways to Hide The Clutter

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You could call me a type B teacher! I was told for years that my classroom is too messy & I need to get organized. My organization is my piles! While they don’t look pretty each pile has a purpose. I have truly tried to be crazy organized and put everything away in a file folder and then into a filing cabinet or hanging bin. This just isn’t me and that’s okay.

I also have items from 5th grade math, 5th grade social studies, 5th grade writing, 5 years of Kindergarten, and 2nd grade. I am only going in my 11th year of teaching, so I have many more years of teaching ahead of me. How do I get rid of all of this stuff? I have put a lot of time into these resources.

These are some tips that I have learned over the years. I’ve transformed my piles into Pinterest worthy classroom. (Just wait for the reveal during the back to school season.)

1. Save only resources that were bought or put together. Don’t save all of those worksheets! What? Why? How? From now on make sure any resource you download you are putting on a jump drive or on the cloud. (This is one place I am organized) No need to save a paper copy.

  • What about those worksheets that aren’t digital? Scan them, it’s even easier if you have one that feeds the papers. Many school printers also have feeding scanners (where you put a pile of papers on top). Most of these have the capability to e-mail everything right to you. Using yours at home? It can send it to your computer. Simply take your on topic pile (or folder) and scan everything from that lesson & it will keep everything together. If that’s too much simply keep 1 copy. Send the rest with the students (they love extras).

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Handmade Fabric Garland Banner Ribbon Garland Tassel Garland in Gold Pink White – 30 PCS

2. Top stock. I learned this from working in retail. This is that place up high that you keep all the materials you are not currently using. I’ve seen people try to make their boxes look pretty by wrapping them, but I don’t have the patience. Instead, I use a fabric fringe garland.

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3. Use Curtains. My mom custom made mine! You can use window curtains or valances. Here I used a tension rod to hold them up. Behind these are my piles! I keep the up and coming worksheets & resources here. I may have the shelf labeled or a flat bin.

Needs Filed Bin. Sometimes, we just get too busy make sure to have a drawer or bin for your pile of things that need to be organized. This reduces the clutter on your desk.

Round Spring Tension Cafe Rod
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My tall shelf has drawers labeled with each day of the week. I also have an extras bin this way if there is any spare time I know right where to go. This is also great to grab when you have a sub. I  make sure I have a section in my sub cheat sheet to tell them where it is.

It’s okay to have piles as an organizational tool. Take these easy steps to look as organized as the next person while giving your room a homey feel.

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