The fidget spinner craze has entered my classroom and my home, and I imagine, based on the ads and Facebook shares, they have also entered your world too! I have heard from parents and teachers that many of them have been taken away and most people are annoyed with it. I’m here to offer a few suggestions to embrace this craze and integrate it with learning!
Spinner Scientific Investigations
I encouraged all of my kids to bring them into our classroom this week and create an investigation to study some aspect of the fidget spinners. Kids were collecting data before and after adding lubrication, measuring the mass of the spinners, coordinating the timing of spinner, and really digging deeper with how these spinners work. One of the things I have to grade on report cards is that kids understand the scientific process. This gave them a great opportunity to carry out an investigation all on their own...and they were motivated! (We will continue our investigations and share our conclusions next week! I'll post them here!)
Skip count by a certain number and see how high you can get before it stops spinning. Since my students need to have their multiplication facts memorized by the end of the year, skip counting is a skill they can all use to practice.
Creating Spinners on Your Own
My cousin 3-D printed a spinner for my own kids in January, and then one of my students made one in his garage just cutting and sanding heavy plastic. This led to him thinking of other ways to create them, and he even used an old toy to recreate it into a spinner. After that, I got excited and bought a bunch of bearings for my students to create their own. Even with a bit of hot glue, you can make things work.
Eye Hand Coordination and Perseverance
Kids are spinning them on their fingers and throwing them up in the air to catch them while spinning over and over. Not only does it develop patience and perseverance, but it also helps with coordination! (Just make sure they have a safe distance around them for flying spinners.)
Update...and my kids have just shared with me that they are also good to spin on other body parts. Here is my daughter sharing her nose balancing skills!