Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Fidget Rules

We were in the middle of class meeting when a student got out his Silly Putty and started pulling it into long strings.  I asked him to put it away and he responded, "But that's my fidget!"

I said, "Thank you.  You have pushed me to a place where I will now do something about fidgets."

Fidgets are not new in my classroom.  Some students use movement and sensory items to help them stay calm and focused.  The new fidgets are creating distraction and chaos--the opposite of calm and focus.  I didn't want to ban fidgets outright.  I just wanted to return them to their rightful place in my room--in the hands of students who truly need them.

I did some quick research that day and presented my class with the new fidget rules:

1. A fidget is a tool to help you focus during times when you are expected to listen quietly.  It is not a toy.

2. A fidget should be something that no one else notices.  This means it should be silent, small enough to fit in your pocket or in your desk, and not distracting.

3. While using your fidget, you should still be able to look at whomever is speaking.  Remember, a fidget is to help you focus on what is happening.

4.  When a fidget is not in your hand, it should be in your backpack, pocket, or desk.

Now when I see a fidget that doesn't meet these rules, I ask the child to put it away.  If I see it again, I put it away.  I have been fewer problems with fidgets.

To download a free set of fidget rules posters, click here.


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