Self Regulation Nation…

In one of my education classes we were able to go into an elementary school and view a classroom that was set up for student self regulation. The idea is that students can use fidgets and tools to help them learn better during the classroom. Some of these tools were: exercise bike, mini-trampoline, chewing gum, suckers, wobbly chairs, straws to chew on, yarn tied to desks. Along with the tools in the classroom the environment was very different from a regular elementary school classroom. No bright colours, no lamination, no flourescent lighting, and lots of fake plants. Apparently with the help of all of these elements the students are able to learn better than those would in a “distracting classroom”.

I believe that some of these tools may actually work for some students and the implementation of fidgets and gum may help to get them back on track. On the contrary I think that these tools could cause even more distraction and essentially could be used as entertainment for the students. Is this what we want to do? Do we want to entertain our students so they shut up and don’t bother us or the other students. I think as teachers we need to be able to “entertain” or engage our students through different teaching strategies and lessons.

So I get it, research shows that some students benefit tremendously with the use of these self regulation tools. What about the kids who already can self regulate and do not need extra distractions within the classroom.  What about the kids who aren’t negatively effected by flourescent lighting and lamination? Are we possibly looking into this issue too much? How can we reach a happy medium? and where do we draw the line in our classrooms in terms of self regulation?



2 thoughts on “Self Regulation Nation…

  1. I can definitely see both sides of this arguement. I am the kind of person that if I need to concentrate, I cannot have the student beside me bouncing up and down on a bouncy ball, while the other student behind me chews away on 17 pieces of gum. I need to be able to look around and see the walls filled with creative bright things as well. I seem to think that quite a few education students do their best in that environment – thats why we are here. And since we ‘teach the way we are taught’ we seem to follow this trend. However, I cant imagine being the type of student that needs the lolly pops and swivel chairs and the teacher telling me to sit still in my desk. I would be more focused on getting that lolly pop to help me concentrate than I would be on the teacher explaining the lesson. I feel as if things like you explained should be allowed in classrooms, as long as they are not at the expense of other learners. We just need to teach the children to be respectful of others needs and I feel it would make for a great environment!

  2. I think that this conversation can only take us to learning styles. I hate bright boards on walls, I even hate colourful books, as they distract me and tire me. I don’t like fluorescent light and I’ve heard it is bad for skin and eyes. I don’t need a trampoline though and never needed one.
    I can see how some children may need that. And I think that putting some tools at the back of the room, or in another room where they are not fully visible to the rest of the students and a teacher may be a good idea. It is actually our responsibility to teach them how to be responsible and take care of themselves.
    I don’t think there is a happy medium. There are only options that we could make available.

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