Educators in some schools are banning fidget spinners from classrooms, saying the toys have become a distraction rather than a tool to help students concentrate. Todd Clinton, a special-education teacher in Tennessee, once was excited about the potential of fidget spinners, but now says students are using them to get attention.
Students from low-income families are more likely to benefit from summer reading programs, according to a study by MIT. Researchers found that about half of 6- to 9-year-olds had higher test scores after participating in such a program — with the majority coming from low-income families.
Educators and students at a Florida school have adopted a philosophy of kindness, aiming for it to be part of everything they do. School counselors also have drawn heavily from Harvard’s Making Caring Common project, using the “Circle of Concern” and “Relationship Mapping” exercises.
There are six primary categories of students — subject lovers, emotionals, hand raisers, social butterflies, teacher responders and deep thinkers — according to a report released this week by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Researchers suggest that teachers may need to alter their strategies to engage students in each group.
The digital environment comes with endless distractions that may play a role in students’ short attention spans, authors Ann Myers and Jill Berkowicz write. In this blog post, they note that educators first need to assess their own attention spans to tackle this issue among students.
Melissa Greenwood is the director of education content at SmartBrief.
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