The Fidget Spinner craze that is blowing up all over the United States has had me intrigued. It is even a huge at my small little Sandston Elementary School in Sandston, Virginia. Some teachers are banning fidget spinners from their classrooms because they are causing distractions, some teachers are allowing a select few students to use them at certain times, and other teachers are using them as incentives that students can buy with tickets they earn in the classroom. In my small PreK through 5th grade school of 220 students, we’re hitting all over the spectrum on the “are they appropriate” debate….
AND THAT’S OKAY!
Putting myself on one side of the debate, I lean more toward them being allowed in class based on ground rules we would lay out together as a class, but if I had a class who couldn’t handle the rules we lay out then yes, I probably would nix them from the classroom. It would pain me to do this though!
As educators, in my opinion, the most important thing we can do is build strong lasting relationships with our students. This “Fidget Spinner Fad” (yes, it is a fad…) will eventually die off. We are nearing our last few weeks with our students before summer, so why not jump on board with this fad to end the school year and strengthen that bond. I know I would be that teacher moving throughout the room, borrowing different students’ spinners for a few minutes to spin, and not skipping a beat teaching. 10 years from now, your students will not remember the ins and outs of everything you specifically taught them, but they WILL remember how awesome it was that their teacher taught with a fidget spinner at the height of its fad back in 2017!
The best thing about these fads popping up is that there are TONS of amazing educators out there who are already using these fidgets spinners to their advantage in the classroom! Embracing the fad to hook those students back into what you are trying to accomplish hits at the very core of what makes good educators great.
At my own school I was hoping this would take off on its own, and just last week, I walked down the hallway to find poems 5th graders had written hung up in the hallway, and BAM… 2 boys who usually struggle with writing and being involved paired up to write a clever poem. Later in the day, I had a 4th grader come up to me proudly showing me a fidget spinner he designed and made himself all out of those plastic beads that you iron together!
After these two brief interactions, I did some quick searching and found some great ways that could be used to integrate and bring authentic learning to the classroom. As I said before, there are still many variables a teacher may need to wade through before taking the full plunge into spinners in the classroom, but this is the “hotness” that is out there with our students today. The all out banning of these spinners may be the way one teacher needs to go, but being able to embrace what the students are excited about and bringing it to the classroom is the #1 way to engage the students fully into their learning and have them asking for more!
Check out these few examples of ways you could use spinners in your classroom. Share your thoughts on the “Great Fidget Spinner Debate” below in the comments!
Are you into 3D printing? How about Downloading Unique Printable Guides to design your old fidget spinners in the classroom!
How about trying out the Fidget Spinner STEM Challenge with your students?
How about having your students Build their own LEGO Fidget Spinner? You can even turn it into a PBL Fidget Spinner Lesson after they have built them!
Still looking for more? Check out the over 75 different Fidget Spinner Lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers!