Just as the sun will rise every morning, classroom distractions will always be evident in schools. Classroom discipline differs from educator and educator and will reap different results. But regardless of the outcome, it is unanimously agreed that minimizing distractions in a group of students is one of the hardest things to do as an educator. Luckily, we complied a list of top 5 classroom distractions and how you can turn them into classroom activities. Kill two birds with one stone by turning diversions into learning and fun!
Cellphones and digital electronics are cited as the main source of distractions in classrooms, especially since owning a cellphone has become less of a privilege and more of a necessity. It's not uncommon for young students to whip out their cellphone in class and educators have racked their brains trying to keep their student's attention.
As opposed to completely banning the presence of a cellphone (students will probably find ways to check their cellphone anyways), it may be more beneficial to embrace cellphone usage in class. There are a plethora of of Educational apps out there that are meant for engaging classrooms. Apps like Google Classroom, ClassDojo, and Kahoot were designed to make the classroom experience stimulating and easily accessible.
Google Classroom and ClassDojo are great for communicating with your students and organizing class files.
Kahoot is an in-class quiz that are a perfect complimentary to every lesson.
2. Fidget Spinners
Fidget spinners took the world by storm earlier this year and while they are
finally dying out, there are still students that show up to school spinning away. Here are some alternative ways to deal with restless kids, with or without a fidget spinner at hand!
If you don't want any fidget spinners in your classroom, keep your fidgety students busy by having interactive "brain breaks" throughout the day. Make a dice that has different activities written on each side; activities can range from 10 jumping jacks to wiggling your whole body for 10 seconds. Once you start to notice your students shifting about, have them roll the die and do an activity that will shoo their restlessness away! You can make these dice with our 3-D Cube die here!
But if you're more of the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" type of crew, then it's totally possible to use fidget spinners to your advantage. Use them for fun games and academic challenges! Some activities you can do include "How many math problems can you solve before the fidget spinner stops spinning?" or "Put these words in alphabetical order as fast as you can before the spinner stops!" These will keep your students from moving around in their seats, all while exercising their brain.
3. Chewing Gum
Chewing and popping bubblegum is one of the most common classroom distractions an educator can encounter - not to mention just how unsanitary this distraction can become (ie. look underneath any desk at school). The good news is you can control your class's gum-chewing by holding a Bubblegum Contest! Have your students practice the imperial/metric system by measuring how big they can blow their bubblegum or even turn the contest into a writing activity. For example, tell your students to list all of the adjectives of chewing gum and have them writing a descriptive paragraph about it for a fun and interactive Language Arts exercise!
4. Lack of Nutrition
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and sometimes, not all of your students will be able to have it every morning. Hungry, low-energy students that don't have the power to listen during class can affect their attention. Educators can combat this by implementing healthy snacking into their lesson plans!
Use grapes, cherry tomatoes, or cherries to create Edible Art Sculptures! Use it for science lessons or creative art project and snack away once it's all said and done. Happy, healthy, and full students will have the kind of energy needed for classroom learning.
Talking, whispering, passing notes, giggles - no educator is immune to these small rustling through their classroom. Eliminate these distractions by creating Silent Response Cards that will keep students engaged and quiet.
These cards can be personalized to any lesson plan or grade. Save some time by getting our Rectangle Die when creating them!
We hope this will help all of you back-to-school educators with your classrooms! Good luck in the classroom and don't forget to follow our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest) for more updates, inspirations, and tips!