Fidget Spinners??

by Irene

When I led two full-day workshops in San Antonio, Texas in early June, a question came up about the latest craze:  “fidget spinners.”  We were talking about how some students with attention difficulties need something to fidget with in order to be able to focus better in class.  I showed examples of several “fiddle gadgets” that I have found to be helpful to these students, while at the same time being quiet and unobtrusive to other students in the classroom.

I had also brought along a “fidget spinner” (a hand-sized 3-pronged object that students can spin around and around – see Wikipedia image on the left) as an example of something that I deemed NOT to be helpful, moreover, which I viewed as rather distracting for other students in the classroom.  That was my personal assessment of the spinner from my own knowledge base and intuitive sense.

There was an article on this topic in the May 22, 2017 issue of Time magazine, as well as in the April 25, 2017 issue of U.S. News and World Report.  Recently I came across an article in the District Administration (DA) newsletter.  [The DA describes itself as a “publication for school district leaders nationwide.”]  It was written by Amanda Martinez and was called:  “Are fidget spinners a good distraction?”

Here is the link:

So clearly these gadgets are being discussed by school districts throughout the nation.  What do you think?  Do you allow them in your classroom?  Why, or why not?



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