Louisville teacher uses 'Bouncy Bands' to help students focus on learning

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville teacher has found a secret underneath her students' feet: a trick to better test scores, better focus and better behavior in the classroom.

"Stop that! Sit down! Sit still!"

 How many times have you had to say that? Yet they keep going and going. Not so, in Amy Malcolm's class. 

"I use to have five kids in the class that had to stand," said teacher Amy Malcolm. "They could not sit."

But all of that changed.

"They're able to learn the lesson, stay in the classroom, and then when they take a test, they perform much better," Malcolm said.

The teacher from Sacred Heart Model School doesn't fight the fidget, telling her 3rd graders to wiggle, jiggle and squirm as much as they want. The teacher put bouncy bands on the bottom of every student's desk. 

"It stimulates their brain, it stimulates everything in their body," Malcolm said.

Kids literally fidget to focus -- and the more Malcolm talks, the faster the feet go, and the more kids seem to know. 

"We talked about Daniel Boone," said Clara Crawford, a student. "He carved his name into a tree while he was hunting."

"He discovered the wilderness road and brought several people to Kentucky," added 9-year-old Jake Harmon.

An elementary school counselor in North Carolina created Bouncy Bands, a way to help students trapped at their desk five or six hours a day. It's not fancy, basically a big rubber band hooking onto the legs of a desk, table or chair. 

"Since they're bendable, you can kind of wrap your feet around them," Harmon said.

At first, Malcolm had her doubts. 

"That's why we did the trial and I thought, 'They're going to be loud, they're going to fall, they're going to break,'" Malcolm said. 

But two months later, she stands by the results.

"I have two students that I can think of immediately that this has changed their grades," Malcolm said. "They stay in the room and they're able to concentrate on a test or high anxiety."

They're bouncing to activate their brains. 

"It's more fun than just putting your feet on the ground," Clara said.

"I could see where they will end up in all the classrooms," Malcolm said. "They're just wonderful."

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