How 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!
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
Make 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!