In Defense of Fidget Spinners

The newest craze in annoying student behavior has made it’s debut. We’ve dealt with marbles, Pokemon cards, and most recently, water bottle flipping. Now on the scene we have fidget spinners. These small objects are all the rage for kids and the new bane of many a teacher’s existence. But are these actually as disruptive as the teacher lounge peanut gallery is claiming?

I actually think they are great. The most annoying thing I have experienced is that they keep walking away from my room. That’s right, I actually GAVE them to students to play with in my class. I am a maniac people.

Marbles are distracting because it’s gambling. Who can focus with their eye on the sparkly, spiraled prize?

Side note, anyone remember pogs? Man, those were the coolest!

Water bottles are by far the stupidest trend, I mean everyone can flip a water bottle. These kids will be blown away when they discover flip cup in college.

But spinners are quiet. They are individual. There is no goal other than to keep the thing moving. I actually enjoy playing with them, they have a very satisfying whirring sound.They are mindless so it isn’t taking up any cognitive space. So I don’t get it. What’s the issue?

There is plenty of research that says students need to move around throughout the day, and I try to incorporate activity into my daily routines through brain breaks and active learning strategies, but sometimes they just need to sit in a chair and write, or read, or calculate, or whatever. But they must be STILL, and some kids just can’t. If an occasional grapple over the coolest colors, or a broken bearing on the floor is the worst we have to deal with, why not let kids have them?

fidget-spinner-2299246_1280I know not all teachers are grouchy killjoys, so what gives?

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