NJ teachers find ways to keep kids focused, moving in class
Some kids just can't sit still in school, especially for hours while staring at a blackboard. So they'll ask to use the restroom or get a drink at the water fountain, interrupting the class and missing out on lessons in the process.
In turn, educators have been working on ways to keep kids focused and active at the same time.
"We noticed a lot of undesirable behaviors in the classroom, like kids not being able to focus on their work for long periods of time," said Jen Emmolo, technology integrator and former third-grade teacher at Wilson Elementary School in West Caldwell.
A couple years ago, Emmolo and colleague Jackie Ginex started the process of introducing stand-up desks in select classrooms. They immediately noticed a difference among students.
"We saw such a marked improvement in their time on task and their focus," Emmolo said.
The idea began with a handful of stand-up desks. Today, there's close to 40, with the principal purchasing a couple more every so often.
Since there aren't enough desks for every student, usage rotates every two weeks.
"The kids love them," Ginex said. "They're just more comfortable. They can stand up when they want to."
Over 400 teachers and parents in New Jersey are current customers of a product known as Bouncy Bands. The equipment attaches to a desk and allows students to swing their legs while learning.
"Kids need to move," said Bouncy Bands CEO Scott Ertl, an elementary school counselor in North Carolina. "It's really taken off all around the world."
At $12 apiece, the bands are made of heavy-duty rubber, attached at both ends to plastic pipes that slide onto a desk or chair.
Dozens of New Jersey towns, from Bridgeton to Wayne, accounted for some of Bouncy Bands' business over the past two months.