Students all work at different paces and come to school each day with varying levels of focus and attention. Instead of scolding fidgety students or allowing them to distract others, some teachers have come up with creative methods for keeping fidgety kids focused. Check out some of the best responses we gathered when we asked teachers about their methods for keeping a classroom focused and ready to learn.
Keys for Keeping Fidgety Students Focused
Learning takes a lot of focus, and some students can handle focused learning for longer periods of time than others. In an effort to give students the best chance at absorbing the information they need, many teachers have organized their classroom to accommodate fidgety students. See what has worked for other real teachers!
Movement is a Must
Keeping young minds moving is one way to help retain focus, according to these teachers:
“We use exercise balls, fidget cubes, stress balls, and so many hands on activities. I try to get the kids up and moving to constantly burn their energy.” – Kati D.
“I have used wobble stools, hand fidgets, wiggle cushions but more importantly for all of my students given brain breaks. We get up and wiggle and move to some music or a just dance activity.” – Jami G.
“Bouncy bands on the desk for their feet! Also, regular brain breaks for the whole class helps everybody. Lastly, I like to pick strategic helpers who need to move more often so they can get up and pass papers or whatever else needs to be done.” – Kyla W.
“We take lots of brain breaks. We exercise and dance in class so that they can get their wiggles out to be able to focus for a few minutes at a time. I also let them move freely around the room to find a spot that helps them learn and not get distracted.” – Angelina M.
Acknowledge Feelings of Anxiety
Students who are punished for fidgeting tend to learn less efficiently. Many of these teachers have found that working with fidgets, rather than against them, helps give students a better chance at focusing during class.
“I give the options regarding seating… they can stand behind their chair, sit on the floor, etc. There’s also a calming corner in my room for students to decompress if they need time to calm down or take a moment to get back on task. It includes a journal, a stress ball, colored pencils, and a poster of calming strategies. All of these strategies have been very successful in my classroom.” – Michelle K.
“Work with the fidgeting, not against it. Provide seating options that allow the child to fidget and focus. Plan movement breaks at critical points in the day. Also give children opportunities to stretch, breathe deeply, and use resistance to work the muscles.” – Martha W.
“I let them have the option of helping with something—passing an item out, being in charge of clicking things on the computer, etc.” – Lisa M.
“I have a range of fidgets for my students to use as well as different seating areas/options in the classroom. Wiggle seats, sitting on the floor, crate seats, or standing are all okay in my room.” – Angela H.
Buy Classroom Fidget Tools and Furniture Online
Looking to add some versatile seating and fidget options to your classroom? Check out the wide range of options available at School Specialty! The online inventory makes it easy to choose options that fit your specific classroom and students.
Have some other tips for how you keep your students focused and on-task, despite fidgety behavior? Tell us more about it in the comments section below!