Respect for Children–Using Fidget Spinners as a Tool for Learning

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Fidget spinners have become ubiquitous in classrooms around the country. First marketed as a tool for students who have difficulty focusing in class, they have created a buzz amongst parents, teachers, and school districts. The explosive popularity of the toy led many school districts to create blanket bans on spinners in the classroom–the whirring sound and mesmerizing motion can be distracting, and there isn’t substantiated evidence that they help students focus.

At Bridge School, however, we asked: What if we use fidget spinners as a powerful tool for learning? What if we respect our students’ curiosity, and explore fidget spinners in partnership as teachers and students?

  Students conducting an experiment looking at the length of spin time on different surfaces.

Students conducting an experiment looking at the length of spin time on different surfaces.

  1. Why and how do fidget spinners spin?
  2. Why do fidget spinner spin so well without stopping?
  3. What scientific questions do I have about a fidget spinners that I can answer by experimenting on it?
shan palmer