Fidget Cubes have become the new trending item all over the world, but specifically at JPEC. Many students have these small devices, meant to calm and soothe people, but many people call them distractions, specifically in the classroom, but are they distractions?
These cubes have a variety of different sides, with a variety of different functions and uses. The first side is a side with five clicker buttons, with three of the clicker buttons making satisfying clicking noises, and the other two silently click to satisfy the aimless clicker in all of us. Another side is the side with
a joystick-like gliding button, that can be used to simulate that of using a joystick on a game controller to satisfy the gamer in all of us, and even those who don’t find gaming appealing can find solace in the endless rolling and gliding of the joystick across the small square side. The next side is the flip side, which allows you to flip the switch back in forth, like flicking a light switch on and off, and can be very soothing, but at times can get extremely noisy. The next side of the fidget cube is the breathing side. It is just a smooth indent in the plastic of the cube, meant to be rubbed and soothing. It resembles a smooth rock that can be rubbed to give oneself the satisfying feeling of feeling a perfectly smooth rock. The next side of the cube is the rolling side. With three gears and one rolling ball. The rolling ball has a built in clicking features that is equal parts cool and satisfying. The next, and final side is the spin side. It is a smooth circle, that can be rotated endlessly. All of these are meant to help with focus and attention, and also anxiety, but it turns out all of these functions can be rather distracting.
Many of these functions are loud and distracting, and with students so enamored with them, they’re so busy playing with them, and they have sometimes become issues in the classroom. A student when asked how she felt about Fidget Cubes, they said, “I really, really want one!” People have become obsessed. These things are the new fad, and by the time most peoples come in, everyone will be over the Fidget Cubes. Though people have become insane about them, they still can be pretty calming and pretty useful.
Fidget Cubes, stress relievers or creators? All day teachers hear clicking, clicking, and tapping. Eventually, this can become annoying and stressful, causing more stress rather than eliminating it. At the same time, they can relieve the student’s stress. So what is better, a few annoyed students and a calm student or one stressed student?
After asking a handful of teachers, they seem to not care if students have a Fidget Cube, as long as they don’t click anything with sound during a lecture. Miss Lloyd says, “I think the Fidget Cubes are fine. I used to have some last year for students to use. They were not as intricate as the Fidget Cubes, but I found they really helped students stay focused.” Only one student has gotten their Fidget Cube taken away so far in the CP classes.
Other teachers would want to find an alternative to them, or a quieter way to relieve stress. Only one of the six teachers interviewed wanted no Fidget Cube(s). Mrs. Tyler says, “I would not mind having them in class for students to use. We have fidgets for students to use in class when they need to. The only problem I would have would be the noises they make because it could distract others. However, there are two sides that do not make noise, so students could use the two silent sides if they were distracting to others.” So, what do we do, Fidget Cube or no Fidget Cube? The easiest way to solve this is finding an alternative. An alternative you may use are finger traps, stress balls, Play-Doh, Rubiks Cubes, or something as simple as yarn.
The above was written by Sammie Ulicny and Alex Miller