Fidget toys: Useful or distracting?

By staff writers Jonny Amaden and Ethan Wasserman

The latest craze to hit the classroom is the fidget toy, and Bay Farm School is no exception. Almost every middle schooler has one, and some students’ parents use them at work too. These toys are meant to help people focus, but some find them more distracting than helpful.

The tricky thing about fidget toys is that they often do the opposite of what they are supposed to do. They’re supposed to help people concentrate in class by having something to dink around with, but now they’re just used as toys. Teachers are enforcing rules about them, like not being able to use them in class or keeping them in your lap so the teacher doesn’t see them.

“In theory, they have a good purpose because they help people concentrate,” said Mrs. Reynolds, a 6th grade teacher at Bay Farm School. “I believe that they can help the people that need them to focus. In reality, they become toys and I see that most kids’ ability to follow directions and concentrate goes down because they are playing with the fidget toys. In theory, they are a good idea, but in reality, it distracts too many students.”

At Bay Farm School, 6th grade teachers set up a “no slime zone” to regulate where students could use “slime,” also known as thinking putty. Sounds like a good system, right? The only problem is that they haven’t swapped the sign from “no slime zone,” so it’s basically an unofficial ban on slime. I think that the rules at this school relating to fidget toys could use a little clarification, because it’s hard to tell if they’re acceptable or not.

What do you think — should students be allowed to use fidget toys in class?

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