After noticing that her eight grade students had problems focusing during math class, a North Carolina teacher decided to channel their energy in a different way – cycling.
It doesn’t sound like the most common thing to do during math class, but Bethany Lambeth, a teacher from Wake County, says that ever since she installed cycling machines under her students’ desks, the quality of their work has improved greatly, they are more focused, and, most importantly, they are no longer fidgeting all the time.
“Before, they were drumming on their desks, they were touching other people, they don’t do that anymore. Their feet are getting the movement out,” she said. “There has been a huge increase in the quality of our student’s work and a decrease in the amount of missing work.”
Photo: WRAL video screengrab
“(The kids) are not picking on each other, they are not needing to walk around, they are not needing to go explore, they are able to get their activity out and get their work done,” the young educator added. “I think the world is changing a lot and the kids need to be able to do something different. “What we’ve been doing is not necessarily working.”
Lambeth installed the cycling machines at the end of last year, paying around $150 for each, which includes a warranty. The cost was covered by donations and a grant from the 4-C fund. No taxpayer money was used, but judging by the results observed by the Wake County teacher, this might be a solution authorities might want to look into. After learning about the success of Lambeth’s project, school officials are particularly excited about the role cycling machines could play in Special Education classes.
The kids obviously love the new “toys”. Sofia Fedele, one of Lambeth’s students, said cycling helps her focus on her work during class. “I usually tap my feet and stuff…just because it keeps me focused,” she said, adding that pedaling is much better. “It keeps me exercising and focused,” she told WRAL.
Quinn Spear, another student in Lambeth’s class, also acknowledged the health benefits of cycling during class. He told reporters that he had pedaled 5.5 miles and burned 133 calories, all before 10 a.m..