I was once given a class of third graders who were grouped together because their attention problems were disruptive to other classrooms, their teacher suddenly and I was hired as the long term substitute teacher. Within the first 15 minutes they were out of control like monkeys in a cage. I said "get your coats we are going outside" we played fishy fishy cross the ocean, freeze tag, and jump rope. After an hour we went in to work, you couldn't find a more focused and quiet class. The principal came in to call me out for playing instead of teaching, he left after watching the work being done. He gave me permission to start the day like that every day, soon other classes would join us, the kids were excited to come to school...
We absolutely must first teach a child how to appropriately use a fidget. We can't just hand it to them and expect it to be magical.
My question is do all children really 'need' or benefit from a fidget? Someone is making money pushing these on every store counter, they are becoming another distraction. At what point, and for whom does fiddling with something stop being an added distraction? I know I caved because they are inexpensive but I would absolutely understand if they were banned from the classroom.
Fidget items sure helped my son, and that was many years ago before they were a thing. We were just trying to find a way for him to survive in a classroom. By the time he was in Junior High they weren't necessary any more. He had found ways to work things out.
Well, I was hoping for some guidelines I could use, but as I work with primarily nonverbal preschoolers (with autism) it didn't really help me.
"Rule #3: Don’t use a fidget if it distracts others or interferes with the work others are doing. If the fidget does distract others or interfere with their work, use a different fidget or strategy."- this is why you choose non-noisy fidgets for use during class in the first place. Past that, if a child needs a fidget, as mine does, in the classroom, the other childrens' attention issue is just that. Their own issue.
What if the chairs and/or tables were fitted with rubber bands? This is a foot fidget that can be used as children need it.
I love fidgets. I follow everything described in the article, and have never had a problem.