Is a "Fidget Bin" useful?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SleekTeach, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    Jun 25, 2015

    I was just on Instagram browsing #TeachersFollowTeachers and one teacher posted a picture of a fidget bit. It's a little basket that has things for students to to keep their hands busy while helping them stay focused as well. For example, this teacher has some spiral coil key chains, some cut up pool noodles, and some dryer balls. Is this stuff actually useful. I fell like my students would be playing with the items rather than just keeping their hands busy.

    Anyone use something like this?
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I keep Rubrics Cubes in my desk drawer for students who just need to settle. I figured they would become a source of irritation (to me), but they do work for certain students who can't sit still. I have ED and BD students, and I thought that the students would walk away with them, but it didn't happen. I made it clear that I was trusting them to return them at the end of the class, and surprisingly, I still have them all! They were cheap enough on Ebay, and I got the ones big enough for me to kind of keep an eye on. The smaller ones might walk out the door. All I can say is that for some students, these things make a positive difference.
     
  4. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    I had a really wiggly bunch this year and our school psych recommended a fidget basket. I used it for a few months, but I didn't do a very good job introducing it and setting procedures/rules for it, so it turned into a huge distraction. I think if you do it, just make sure to take the time to create procedures for it and explain why/how you use the items. Although, I think I would probably only use it if school started and I noticed a need among a few students. I don't know if it's something you would necessarily need every year, just depending on the group you have.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I've never really used fidgets but have s squeeze ball or two in a drawer just in case. You have to absolutely teach the student in question how to use a fidget and other students need to know that everyone gets what they need in order to learn and that a fidget isn't a toy.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I never thought I would like something like that in my classroom until I went to a training and the facilitator had them on every table. I spent the whole time holding items, and was able to focus incredibly well.
     
  7. K1teach

    K1teach Companion

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    I have some students who really benefit from keeping their hands busy and if I provide something quiet, it is much more beneficial than the noisy/distracting things they find to do. But like others have said, it is super important to teach the expectations and rules that go with them. An OT that I worked with introduced things as "tools, not toys." It is a phrase that I now use frequently and if students are using things as toys rather than tools, I take them away for a while.
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Never had a bin, but had stuff for some kids. I also allowed doodling on paper.
     
  9. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Fidget items are an awesome and easy accommodation. But they MUST be modeled with clear boundaries around when/how to use the items. The one time I had a fidget basket, everybody suddenly needed a fidget item for about a week. Eventually that got old and the 2 kids who really needed fidget items were able to use them without any issues.
     
  10. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    My desk is covered in them. For me. I fidget like crazy when I teach. I'm happy to share them with my students - and I teach Middle School. I find various squishy "stress" items work the best. They really aren't exciting enough to play with but fit the fidget need just right.
     
  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    During the last week in July of each year, we have an administrators' summit. It is (by far) the absolute worst week for me because we have to sit through full-day meetings/trainings/workshops.

    I can't be the only administrator who needs a fidget bin! At some points throughout the week, I have to get up and take a walk outside because I can't focus!
     
  12. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    :thumb: This. You have to teach the children how to use fidget toys. They can be very beneficial. They are a bit of a novelty at first, but the kids who really benefit from them are the only ones who stick with using them after a while.

    One year I had a student that was totally offended when I offered him one. He fidgeted with EVERYTHING he found on the floor, but was horrified when I offered him an actual fidget toy. Go figure.

    Before you go and purchase a bunch of items, check with your resource team. Our resource teacher keeps a stock in her office that we are welcome to hand out to students.
     
  13. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I teach in middle school and I used what I called a "sparkle bottle" every once in a while. It's an old plastic bottle filled with water and glitter and has the top glued shut. I'd give it out to kids who needed a second to focus. They shake it and then watch the glitter settle. It didn't work great for my kids, but they loved it! :)
     
  14. MsMongoose

    MsMongoose Companion

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    Jun 28, 2015

    Is a fidgit bin useful?

    Some kids seem to "fidget" the most when they are really learning.

    At least if you supply the items to fidget with, you can make sure that they are silent items.
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    My first year teaching, I had the squirmiest little boy you can imagine. Also a brilliant student. I recall once giving a test, and it seemed this kid wiggled and squirmed and looked all over the room but his own paper (no cheating, just looking at the walls and the ceiling, etc) while his pencil was moving over his paper and he somehow managed to get a great score on the test (me thinking: you didn't even look at your paper or what your pencil was doing!) :lol:
     
  16. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    One of our high school math teachers started doing that this year, and she found it to be really successful! She had Play-do, a slinky, a stress ball and something else... the kids loved it. I agree with the others, though, even at the high school level, the kids had to be taught *how* to use them.
     
  17. msrosie

    msrosie Rookie

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    I spent a lot of time in a cross cat room last year and the classroom teacher had a fidget bin. The kids all knew the expectations because they'd been taught. It had to stay under the table, it had to be silent, you could only have one, and as soon as it became a distraction, you lost it. In all honesty, I found myself taking advantage of the fidget bin more often than the students at times. So when I have my own classroom, I'm definitely going to have one.
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    It works really well for my squirrelly middle school kids IF there are clear procedures for the use. The first time I had a fidget box, it was a huge problem because I didn't take enough time to go over the proper use.
     
  19. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    So I really love the idea of a "fidget bin". But everyone keeps discussing the protocols for using one. What would be the protocols? How do you determine if it's being "distracting" or if it's doing its job?
     
  20. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    1. It must stay in your hands
    2. It may not make any noise
    3. You may not discuss it with your friends while I am teaching
    4. It may not go in your mouth

    You know if the fidget toy is doing it's job if the child can focus on the lesson. If they become involved with the toy then it's not doing it's job.
     
  21. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    http://gradingscale.blogspot.com/2013/06/fidgetsdo-you-use-them.html

    I found this list of rules on pinterest a few weeks ago and liked it a lot. I have implemented fidgets before but, similar to what someone else said, everyone wanted one. If that's just temporary, maybe I should try again.
     
  22. MaryPoopins

    MaryPoopins Rookie

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